United Democratic Front (UDF) says it appreciates and respects the decision by its leader in Parliament, Lucius Banda, not to move to government benches and that it will not take any disciplinary action against him.
UDF publicity secretary Ken Ndanga told local press that Banda is simply exercising his rights in that regard.
He stressed that there will be no victimisation or retribution against Banda because UDF is a democratic party and it encourages people to be free and open.
“As a party, we respect his decision because there could be other party members that share his views. We feel this matter can only be resolved if we sit down as a party and discuss it,” said Ndanga.
He said Banda has been a loyal member of UDF and such being the case they do not see the reason why they should take a disciplinary action against the true member.
“We know that there have been fears amongst UDF followers that we may end up joining the ruling Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) but let me assure Malawians that the party cannot be disbanded.
“We have a large following and what has happened in Parliament is just a sitting arrangement and it does not make us less UDF,” he explained.
Earlier, Banda, who has defied the party’s decision to relocate from opposition to government benches said he will continue speaking on behalf of UDF while sitting on opposition benches.
He also insisted that he will still continue supporting government.
UDF MPs started sitting on government benches when President Peter Mutharika opened the nine-week Budget Meeting of Parliament on Tuesday with a State of the Nation Address.
All UDF members of Parliament (MPs) moved to government side in line with the request the party made to Speaker of Parliament Richard Msowoya.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :