Bingu opposed my candidacy – Peter Mutharika

Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) presidential candidate Peter Mutharika on Tuesday claimed his brother late president Bingu wa Mutharika initially opposed his candidacy but later supported him.

Muntharika disclosed this when he was responding to the question on Intra party democracy during the third and final round of presidential debate at Victoria hotel in Blantyre.

A retired US law professor in a bid to play down politics of dynasty, said Bingu did not want him to inherit power but later on was persuaded that it should brother leader’s succession plan.

Mutharika:  Bingu's brother leader
Peter Mutharika: Bingu’s brother leader

“Many people don’t know this, my brother Bingu did not want me to be presidential candidate,” claimed the 74-year Peter, the oldest amongst all 12 presidential candidates.

He said it took the persuasion of former MCP vice president Dr Peter Chiona to write a recommendation letter of over 10 pages to late Muntharika about his brother to be a leader upon seeing his leadership skills at Malawi Institute of Management training programs.

Peter Muntharika was first nominated as his brother’s successor in 2010 by then southern region DPP governor Noel Masangwi who publicly then said Malawi was not ready to have a woman president referring to then vice president Joyce Banda.

DPP faced Mutharika’s ‘dynasty’ after the death of Bingu when the party endorsed Peter to become its leader and later was rubberstamped at a convention as presidential candidate.

He served in his brother Bingu’s cabinet in various ministerial positions including Education and Foreign Affairs when ordinary Malawians, frustrated by a chronic lack of foreign exchange and fuel that belies the economy’s stellar growth statistics, demanded Mutharika out.

Protesters on July 20, 2011 staged unprecedented rallies against Mutharika that left 19 dead and led to international rebuke.

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