The governing Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) says it considers primary elections as the most important element in its intra-party democratic order hence the party will hold primaries in all constituencies and wards across the country to choose candidates ahead of the 2019 tripartite elections.
DPP vice president for southern region, Kondwani Nankhumwa was guest of honour at the party’s southern region headquarters in Blantyre on Monday where the party’s national elections directorate invited all DPP southern region sitting Members of Parliament (MPs) and ward councilors, including aspirants, to brief them on the forthcoming primaries, which would be conducted in phases starting from next month.
Nankhumwa told the gathering that DPP shall not exert undue influence regarding who should represent the party at the polls but instead, the party will allow a democratic, free and fair process to take place.
“It is His Excellency President Professor Arthur Peter Mutharika’s firm resolve and that of the entire NGC that the party should not impose any candidate on the people. People have the right to choose their representatives through a transparent and democratic process,” said Nankhumwa who is also Local Government and Rural Development Minister.
He asked all members at the meeting “to go back home and spread the message” of the importance of registration and voting, saying wooing many people to register would increase the party’s chances of winning the elections next year.
Nankhumwa, who was elected the party vice president responsible for southern region at the party’s national convention held in Blantyre between July 1 and 3, 2018, after he defeated two party heavyweights, Henry Mussa and Joseph Mwanamveka, encouraged all members to work as a team in the aftermath of the national convention to ensure party cohesion ahead of next year’s polls.
“I know that, naturally, hearts were broken when your preferred candidate did not make it. But let’s now put the convention behind us and work together as children of one family.
“I am vice president for all of us in the southern region. Let’s bury the hatchet and forge ahead in unity of purpose,” he said.
The convener of the meeting and DPP’s director of elections Ben Phiri echoed Nankhumwa’s free and fair primaries assertions, saying independent people will oversee and manage DPP primaries.
“We intend to engage personnel from our universities and colleges to run the primaries on the party’s behalf. No NGC member would be involved to ensure that the process is interfered with by any senior party officials,” said Phiri.
Director of legal affairs Charles Mhango warned aspirants and subsequent candidates in the 2019 tripartite against giving cash hand-outs to people, saying a law is in the offing, which shall be against giving gratification to any person with the aim of inducing them to vote for you.
“Candidates proven to have acted against that law would be disqualified by the Malawi Electoral Commission (MEC),” he warned.
Other senior party officials that attended the meeting included ministers, Francis Kasaila and Nicholas Dausi, parliamentarian Mary Navicha and southern region governor, Charles Mchacha.
During the event, Nankhumwa donated various party material including cloth and mobile phones to constituency and district governors “for easy communication”.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :