Atupele hints on runningmate: Shortlists four names

In a rare hint of his 2014  campaign strategy  United Democratic Front (UDF) presidential candidate Atupele Muluzi has said that he has shortlised four names for consideration  as his running mate for the presidential race.

The UDF leader made the revelation at Kauma trading center in Lilongwe on Sunday where he addressed a rally.

Atupele, 35, told the gathering that the position of his running mate is very crucial and that he is currently making consultations in order to come with the right choice.

“I am thinking carefully and making consultations with ordinary Malawians including chiefs because my runningmate is your potential Vice President of the republic and the choice ought to be the right one,” said the UDF leader.

Atupele's rally at Kauma on Sunday
Atupele’s rally at Kauma on Sunday

He said however, the actual announcement of running mate will be made before the end of the year.

Atupele said the  UDF party National Executive Committe will be informed of his choice before a public announcement of the same.

He said as the party holds the policy conference this week in Lilongwe,  it will be important that it should assemble a team of dedicated men, women and the youth, led by himself and his runningmate to deliver.

Asked to clarify on the UDF leaders statement, party spokesperson Ken Ndanga said that the party had not been told of his choice yet but was quick to say that UDF  constitution mandates the party president to choose a runningmate of his choice.

He disclosed that the presidential candidate is not limited to individuals within the party but can also choose candidates who are rank outside the party.

“From what he has told me as a party spokesperson, our candidate is considering a person who would add value to the ticket, be able to serve as a good vice president and ready to compliment his vision,” said Ndanga.

He said the UDF party is very supportive of the approach he has taken on choosing his runningmate because it is backed by what the UDF constitution stipulates.

From the explanation, it is clear that the UDF torch bearer is casting his net very wide and that his party vice presidents are not his automatic runningmates.

Some people believe that Atupele’s statement on the running mate made at a public rally in the central region could be a hint that his choice may come from the central region.

During the whistle stop tour the UDF leader addressed rallies at Kaliyeka, Senti and Kauma where he was accorded a heroes reception by chanting UDF supporters, most of whom were women and the youth.

Atupele on whistle-stop but its getting dark
Atupele on whistle-stop but its getting dark
Crowds at Kauma
Crowds at Kauma

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