CHRR, CEDEP hail MCP on democracy, congratulates Chakwera

The Centre for Human Rights and Rehabilitation (CHRR), and Centre for Development of the People (Cedep) applauded Malawi Congress Party (MCP) convention which elected new president Dr Lazarus Chakwera, saying the party has enhanced intra-party democracy.

The two organisations in a statement  emailed to Nyasa Times said just as it was with the DPP, UDF and PP conventions, the build-up to, the holding of, and the outcome of the MCP’s indaba was of ultimate concern not only to MCP’s sympathisers but also to the general republic who were particularly interested in knowing the party’s torchbearer come 2014 Presidential elections.

“Such a general interest in MCP’s indaba, just as it was with DPP, UDF and PP conventions, comes in when one considers the simple fact that any party’s elected Presidential candidate, by virtue of acquiring such a status, becomes a potential president of the country. As such, all matters pertaining to any presidential candidate, be it his or her election at the party level, are of ultimate concern to both the party’s supporters and the entire general public,” reads the statement.

CHRR and Cedep commended MCP  delegates at the convention for  “jealously guarding their constitution against any selfish intentions to pervert it in order to satisfy one person or a group’s interest.”

They were referring to attempt bid for its former president John Tembo to seek amendment in the party constitution that would have allowed him to run for a third term.

MCP president Dr Lazarus Chakwela and his wife Monica

MCP president Dr Lazarus Chakwela and his wife Monica

“By candidly rejecting the proposal to allow its party’s outgoing leader John Tembo to seek a third term re-election, the delegates did not only show that they represented the will of the people they were representing at the convention but also provided a lesson to all those in political leadership that the will of the people [‘ordinary’ members of the party] reigns supreme over every political decision, and any system or authority that attempts to suppress the will of the people shall always face resistance in this modern democratic dispensation,” said the statement.

The organisations noted that the bold stance showed by MCP’s delegates offers new hope to the future of the ountry’s intra-party democracy.

The rights campiagners also congratulated  MCP new president  Dr Lazarus Chakwera and the new executive for assuming the party’s leadership.

“We wish them well as they begin their new roles. Most importantly, we urge them to always allow the precepts of good governance, rule of law and human rights inform their decision making in the general interest of party members and the public. They should always remember, as clearly shown in the delegate’s bold stance, that the noble cause is evident in the people themselves.”

The statement was signed by acting executive director of CHRR, Timothy Mtambo and Cedep boss Gift Trapence.

Aford admires MCP convention

Meanwhile, the Alliance for Democracy (Aford) has also saluted MCP, saying the party behaved like champions of democracy during their convention

Aford spokesperson Dan Msowoya said MCP’s convention has left a positive mark for the country’s democracy and it  is a big lesson to Aford, which will also be holding its convention on August 23.

“There are a lot of lessons we have learnt from other parties which have held conventions. However, MCP is the one that has demonstrated more maturity.

“They have acted like champions of democracy. They have shown that the party does not belong to one person or a certain section. So, there is a lot, we have learnt from MCP and what they consider to be right and wrong,” said Msowoya as quoted by The Nation newspaper.

He also said Tembo should be given “credit for the way he conducted himself” in transferring power smoothly.

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