Ruling Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) has delayed the scheduled August primary elections for aspiring members of parliament and councilors in what the party spokesperson said was a move to familiarize the aspiring candidates with grass root politics.
In an interview, party spokesperson Nicholas Dausi said there was need to familiarize all the candidates with grass root politics so that they win the 2019 elections.
“We want the aspiring candidates to familiarize themselves with grass root politics,” said Dausi, refusing to elaborate what he meant by making the aspiring candidates familiarize with grass root politics.
A political commentator in Lilongwe said the massive political rally during the launch of the United Transformation Movement has forced the DPP to go back to the political drawing board as the party fears huge political losses in both parliamentary elections and local government elections.
Vice president Saulos Chilima drew hundreds and thousands of people during his first political rally in Lilongwe and excited the people when he talked bold on fighting corruption, nepotism, cronyism, favouritism, tribalism and regionalism which he said was rampant in the DPP-led government.
However, DPP secretary general Grazider Jeffrey trashed Chilima’s assertions, saying he has been part of the government for four years and could be part of the problem instead of being part of the solution.
Dausi however could not say when the party would hold the primary elections, saying communication would be made later.
Mutharika himself was elected unchallenged at the DPP convention after his sole challenger, Chilima, withdrew from the party presidential race because of what the vice president said were harassment and torture of his followers who now form the bulk of the UTM, the new political movement on the political block.