UDF to join opposition benches in Malawi Parliament

United Democratic Front (UDF) has written Speaker of the National Assembly, Henry Chimunthu Banda that its legislators will return to opposition benches during the next sitting of Parliament scheduled for February.

UDF parliamentary secretary-general Kandi Padambo confirmed the development.

He said the UDF letter was read to members of the parliamentary business committee on Friday at the National Assembly.

Leader of the House, Henry Dama Phoya is reported to have told the Speaker not to act on the letter to give him time to have “a talk” with UDF president Atupele Muluzi.

Chiwaya: UDF switching to opposition side

But UDF ’s Mangochi Central MP  Dr. Clement Chiwaya, who is also the party’s chief whip  told the Speaker at the meeting that the letter was official communication from the party and nothing will change their position of moving away from Joyce Banda government.

Chiwaya said UDF MPs experienced confusion in their constituencies following the party’s move to government benches.

During the last sitting of Parliament, UDF asked Speaker to move to opposition benches before it reversed its decision after its elective convention on October 31. Later UDF’s leader and presidential candidate, Atupele Muluzi, resigned his post of minister of economic planning.

The loose opposition sitting now has former ruling Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) as a majority, Malawi Congress Party (MCP) as second largest and the UDF as the smallest party with 15 MPs on the opposition benches.

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