DPP convention all system go: Analyst salute intra-party democracy

The opposition Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) has said all is set for it’s the national conference to be held at Comesa Hall in the commercial city of Blantyre on Thursday, saying they will come out strong.

DPP spokesman Nicholous Dausi who is also the convention chairman said the elective conference will “strengthen” the party ahead of next year’s elections.

He played down assertions of two camps, one supporting acting president Peter Mutharika and the other supporting Malawi Speaker, Henry Chimunthu Banda.

“There are no camps in DPP, there people who are contesting but it’s one family of DPP,” said Dausi.

Yunus Mussa faces Malenga for the position of DPP VP post
Yunus Mussa to run  for the position of DPP VP 

“Our objective is to be in government 2014, we can only do that if we come out strong and we will,” he said.

University of Malawi political scientist Dr Henry Chingaipe has since commended DPP for holding the convention and open contest for positions, saying “it is huge step towards consolidation of democracy.”

He also said there is nothing strange to have camps, saying “camps emerge where there is leadership contests. This is healthy for intra-party democracy and it reinforces choice.”

Chingaipe said DPP leader who gets elected will have a task to unite the camps after the convention.

The contest

Meanwhile, there are about 80 candidates that will contest for positions in DPP national governing council (NGC)

The presidency is a two horse race between interim president Peter Mutharika and Speaker of Parliament Henry Chimunthu Banda.

The position of vice-president for the Central Region will be completed by Dr. Hetherwick Ntaba, a former presidential spokesperson of late president Bingu wa Mutharika and founder of the DPP , who faces lawmaker Steven Kamwendo.

Zomba Central MP Yunus Mussa will tussle with Ernest Malenga, Lonnie Chijere Chirwa and Ali Allan for the Eastern Region vice-presidency.

There is one candidate for the post of vice-president responsible for the North, Chitipa North legislator Nick Masebo.

Dr. Jean Kalilani who was the party’s vice-president is vying for the position of secretary general. She faces Ted Kalebe, Binton Kutsaira and acting secretary general Dr Allan Chiyembekeza.

DPP parliamentary leader Dr. George Chaponda will battle it out with Henry Mussa and regional governor for the South, Noel Masangwi for the position of treasurer general.

Dausi faces Francis Kasaila on the position of publicity secretary.

Comedian Bon Kalindo aka Winiko has joined the race for deputy national publicity secretary. He faces challenge from Zeliya Chakale and Laurine Mukunkha.

Patricia Kaliati is expected to go unopposed as director of women likewise Bessie Chirambo as national campaign director. Ted Salule Masangwi has no competitor on the position of director of research.

Controversial Thyolo Thava MP Lifred Nawena will run for the national director of elections post former deputy ministers Kondwani Nankhumwa and Tarcisious Gowelo.

Director of youth for the South, Lewis Ngalande, faces off Francis Phiso for the position of national director of youth.

DPP has hired the services of the Electoral Commission to assist them in the management of elections during the convention.

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