Malawi’s Aford postpones convention to 2013

The Alliance for Democracy (Aford) has postponed its national convention which was scheduled to take place on December 29 this year to elect new leaders.

The party publicity secretary Dan Msowoya  said in n a statement released on Christmas Day made available to Nyasa Times that the the convention might take place in the first quarter of 2013.

“The Alliance for Democracy [Aford] wishes to inform the nation of the decision to defer its national conference/convention set to take place on December 29 2012 to some later date in the near future,” reads the statement.

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).

Msiska: Aford MP and secretary general

The party swooped all the 33 parliamentary seats in the northern region and three more in the central district of Kasungu making it the king-maker despite Chihana losing the presidency to Bakili Muluzi in the first multiparty elections in 30 years in 1994.

To balance power in Parliament Muluzi invited Aford into an alliance with the then ruling United Democratic Front (UDF) and made Chihana Second Vice-President.

The party’s fortunes started waning when Chihana unilaterally dumped the government accusing it of corruption. Aford ministers who went into cabinet with him refused to follow him out of government. The party split into two with one faction forming a rival party.

By the time Chihana died in 2006 the party only had six seats in the 193-member Parliament. Currently it only has two MPs – Khwauli Msiska and party chairman Enoch Chihana, the founder’s son.

Both Msiska and Chihana are ministers in President Joyce Banda’s Peoples Party-led government.

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