The decision by the governing Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) to boycott the presidential and running mates televised debates last month has put its parliamentary aspirants and ward councillors in Chikwawa on a dilemma on whether to participate in the debates at the district level or not.
The National Initiative for Civic Education (NICE) trust in Chikwawa has this week started conducting debates in all constituency in the district where it transpired that no DPP candidate showed up for the debates in the two constituencies.
In Chikwawa-Nkombedzi constituency all the seven candidates who are competing from the opposition Malawi Congress Party (MCP),UTM Party, United Democratic Front (UDF) and other independent candidates showed up for the debate except DPP candidate for the area Ben Khuleya.
However, Khuleya denied being restrained by his party to shun the debate, saying he thought it wise to withdraw from the debate to avoid confrontations that may arise among their supporters.
During the debates MCP candidate Abida Mia had an outstanding performance on delivery and substance.
In Chikwawa Central Constituency, only candidates from the opposition MCP, UTM and UDF showed up for the the debate. DPP candidate for the area Samuel Office shunned the debate.
However another DPP member for the area Salim Bagus attended the debate as an independent candidate.
On his part NICE District Civic Education Officer for Chikwawa Josephy Chamambala said he was surprised that no DPP candidate showed up for debate in the two constituencies the trust has conducted it’s debate saying DPP candidates were duly invited to attend the debates .
Chamambala added that it is the candidate themselves who are missing the opportunity to convince the electorates on what they intend to do once they are elected by not showing up in the debates.
He continued by saying he hoped that other DPP candidates in other remaining constituencies might attend the debates as he has received confirmation from DPP candidate for Chikwawa North Constituency that he will partook in the debate scheduled for this coming Friday.
Apart from participating in the debates a head of next month’s elections NICE is also using the public debates as a platform on which aspiring MPS and ward councillors are entering in some sort of agreement to fulfil or the electoral promises once elected by signing a Social contact a agreement.
DPP Secretary General Grezeda Geoffrey issued a circular saying the party has resolved that the party shall not take part in an elections debate.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :