Call it a protected name. 115 aspirants in race for Peoples Party (PP) primary elections in southern region have been warned from using President Joyce Banda’s name to garner votes.
The party is set to hold primary elections on Sunday January 12th in 54 constituencies with 195 shadow councillors ready to battle it out in 125 wards.
Briefing the aspirants at an event held at Comesa Hall in Blantyre, the party’s vice president for southern province, Sidic Mia said using President Banda’s name to campaign for votes was unacceptable.
“At this stage you are not allowed to go around in your respective areas claiming to be President Joyce Banda’s sons or daughters. Don’t use the President’s name to campaign for yourselves; that is not allowed,” warned Mia.
He however assured those to emerge winners of undivided support from the party, saying “We have enough resources at our disposal to campaign for you to win, come May 20th”.
Some of the faces set to contest in the primary elections include Minister of Land, Henry Duncan Phoya, veteran journalist and Pride magazine proprietor, John Saini and boxing promoter and owner of Ngumi Boxing stable, Steve Mawenzi Msiska among others.
Mia has since revealed that in southern region, the party will only allow PP area committees to vote unlike in some constituencies in other regions where every eligible voter was allowed to participate in the elections disregarding political parties they affiliate.
“Voting will be restricted to only area committees because those are our supporters. This has been done to avoid other political parties taking advantage of the system to ensure we field candidates they consider as weaker opponents”.
He added: “As a party, we have taken broader approach to ensure those who lose remain in the party. We feel allowing them to contest as independent will only divide voters, and that will reduce our chances of winning May 20th tripartite elections. So I urge all contestants to be loyal to the party. Losers should support those who win the primaries”.
PP acting Secretary General, Paul Maulidi said the party would implement several security measures to check out vote rigging or multiple voting.
Several PP incumbent MPs such as Bauleni Manna for Dowa East, Agnes Penemulungu for Lilongwe City South East and Edwin Bagwanji of Lilongwe City West have also lost to new faces on the political scene.
Others include Minister of Labour, Grace Maseko who conceded defeat to John Chikalimba in Zomba Changalume Constituency. Minister responsible for Good Governance, Chris Daza outclassed deputy speaker of Parliament, Jones Chingola in Ntcheu Central Constituency.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :