Malawi opposition Aford rebuffs Chihana on coalition with ruling PP

Alliance for Democracy (Aford), one of the political parties in Malawi, has rejected political posturing of its national chairperson, Enock Chihana to form a coalition with the ruling People’s Party (PP) during next year’s tripartite elections.

Chihana, who is also the minister of sports, told a rally in Rumphi this week that they will form a coalition with PP to give President Joyce Banda more votes during the 2014 elections.

He said they were rebuilding the party which will hold a national convention in April this year where he will contest for party’s presidency.

But the party’s spokesperson, Dan Msowoya has dismissed Chihana’s sentiments, arguing the Minister has no authority to suggest or initiate an alliance with any party.

Chihana : Wants to safeguard his ministerial position

“That is not true, as Aford we have not approached PP for coalition. It’s the party that has to decide and not Mr. Chihana. What he said was an individual opinion and that could not be the party’s position,” Msowoya said.

Msowoya said what Chihana did was a violation of the party’s constitution and the party will act on that.

“If he wants to speak on behalf of the party, then he has to quote the resolutions made by the convention or executive. What he did is violation of the party’s constitution. We will look into it and take action,” he explained.

On Chihana’s interest to contest for Aford’s presidency, Msowoya said the controversial minister has right to vie for any position at the convention slated for April this year.

Aford was founded by fire-brand pro-democracy campaigner Chakufwa Chihana in 1992 after the Catholic Church made the first direct challenge to the then one-party dictatorship under Hastings Kamuzu Banda and his Malawi Congress Party (MCP).

The party has two members in the 194-seat national assembly –  Khwauli Msiska and party chairman Enoch Chihana, the founder’s son.  Both Msiska and Chihana are ministers in President Banda’s Peoples Party-led government.

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