The only reason the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) doesn’t face a real threat of imminent defeat in 2019 is that the opposition – both parliamentary and presidential – are not united but the cracks within the party is weakening it especially in its considered stronghold of Southern Region.
Now a group calling itself Patriotic DPP Members has been formed following the chaotic primary elections to identify candidates to represent DPP in the parliamentary and local government elections in the May 21 2019 Tripartite Elections..
Published reports suggest the DPP pressure group is being organised and sponsored by party director of elections Ben Phiri although this could not be independently verified.
Phiri is the party’s director of elections who was appointed by President Peter Mutharika.
But DPP secretary general Greselder Jeffrey is chairperson of the committee coordinating the primaries, and the Patriotic DPP Members are pushing for her resignation, accusing her of messing up primary elections, especially in the Southern Region.
The faction demands Jeffrey resign both as party secretary general and chairperson of the committee coordinating the primaries and pave the way for director of elections Phiri to lead the process.
But Jeffrey has blasted people baying for her blood describing them as bad losers who had bribed some presiding officers to rig the primaries.
She said: “Some of them [presiding officers] received money from aspirants to rig the elections, but failed because I was changing constituencies to conduct elections at the eleventh hour contrary to the official list.”
Jeffrey said her committee would meet on Monday to assess results of all primary elections and decide the way forward. She said were deemed fit, the party will organise reruns.
The developments also undermines the leadership of Kondwani Nankhumwa as head of DPP in the region as party’s vice president.
Since ascending to the Southern Region vice presidency, Nankhumwa has swiftly shaken up the region which has been sleeping for the past four years by addressing rallies that attract huge crowds.
But now the DPP factionalism is weakening the party threatening its showing in the 2019 polls.
If the opposition were able to unite, which is almost certainly impossible, the DPP would be facing a real prospect of losing state power.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :