MCP convention to decide on Tembo’s candidature–Kalelo

Opposition Malawi Congress Party (MCP) veteran leader John Tembo will have  to seek amendment to the MCP constitution paving way for his  third-time lucky in the presidential race.

MCP deputy spokesman, Jolly Kalelo, has said Tembo may not be given the mandate for presidential run if delegates will vote against amending party’s constitution in order to accommodate him.

“What you should know is that MCP is a democratic party that respects views of the people. If Hon. John Tembo wants to contest as presidential candidate for the party, delegates that will come for voting at convention will decide whether to amend the constitution or not,” Kalelo is quoted by official news agency Mana.

The 78-year-old veteran politician is barred by the party constitution to contest for the presidency under the MCP ticket for the consecutive third time.

Tembo: To seek MCP constitutional amendment

He said the forthcoming MCP convention will open up for leadership contest.

“Every member will have an opportunity to contest in any positions of their interest as long as they are party members,” Kalelo said.

Tembo is however on record saying the issue on whether the constitution is to be amended to allow his candidature in 2014 will be decided at the convention.

The veteran politician hinted that he might run in the 2014 elections if the party nominated him as presidential candidate, arguing that constitution is a living document which is subject to be amended by party members at a convention.

The MCP president has failed in his presidential bid twice, in 2004 and 2009.

Kalelo said MCP expects to hold the convention early next year.

Chancellor College Political Science senior lecturer, Prof. Blessings Chinsinga, said amending the constitution will not help the party, but rather further weaken it.

He said it’s high time Tembo left the presidential position to new blood that can take the party to next heights, saying he (Tembo) has not only run short of new  ideas, but also he is tired.

“Tembo has run short of new ideas that can catapult the party to new heights. If the party is serious enough, it should usher new blood more especially youths that can bring new ideas to the party,” Chinsinga is quoted saying.

MCP last held its national convention in 2008 and the current office bearers’ tenure of office will expire next year.

Recently, the ruling People’s Party (PP) and United Democratic Front (UDF) held their conventions where they both elected new office bearers.

PP elected unopposed Joyce Banda as its 2014 presidential candidate while UDF selected Atupele Muluzi as their torch bearer.

It is not yet known as to when former ruling Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) will hold its national convention.

In earlier statements, DPP’s spokesperson Nicholas Dausi hinted that the party would hold its convention end of November only to backtrack.

DPP has held its convention once towards 2009 general elections since it was formed in 2005.

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