Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) members of Parliament on Wednesday held a news conference in which they endorsed President Peter Mutharika as the party’s presidential candidate in the 2019 Tripartite Elections.
The endorsements come against the background of some DPP members declaring their support for Vice-President Saulos Chilima to stand for the presidency in the 2019 Tripartite Elections.
Addressing reporters in Lilongwe, chair for DPP backbenchers in parliament Victor Mbewe said the endorsement comes because of Mutharika sound leadership style.
“Here is a President who promised party members not to leave them when it seemed like all was lost and he picked a the pieces to rebuild the party when some abandoned it.
“After leading the party to victory during the 2014 general elections, APM (Mutharika) managed to bring back donors confidence after the cashgate scandal (which occurred during Joyce Banda tenure) and he is developmental conscious as evidenced by different developments mushroomimg in the country in all regions. This is the reason why we want him to continue ruling this country,” he said.
Mbewe said the party’s convention which will be called later will formalize the endorsement.
Deputy Speaker of Parliament and MP for Nsanje North Esther Mcheka Chilenje added the voice to the endorsement.
Among other things, Chilenje said Mutharika showed parental care to her constituents after the 2015 floods when he assisted the affected families.
“Government is also building a state of the art hospital, construction of Thabwa-Maoni and Thyolo-Thekelani-Thava roads and we are also benefitting from the rural electrification program. So these are reasons enough to endorse APM as the party’s torch bearer during the forth coming elections,” She said
Taking his turn, Chiradzulu South MP Joseph Mwanavekha cited several developments as indicators that Mutharika is the rightful man for the country’s development.
Among other things, he cited Chiradzulu Teachers Training College, various hospitals and secondary schools and good road networking.
Among those present at the conference were party’s General Secretary Grezeder Jeffrey Wa Jeffrey, Jean Kalirani, Anna Kachikho and Uladi Mussa who ditched People’s Party of Joyce Banda to join DPP.
Mutharika, 79, is facing an unprecedented resistance, for an incumbent eligible for a second term as per the Malawi Constitution, from a section of his governing DPP lobbying for the candidacy of Vice-President Saulos Chilima, 45.
Former first lady Callista Mutharika—widow of DPP founding president and the incumbent President’s elder brother, Bingu wa Mutharika—sparked the succession debate weeks ago when she said her in-law should pave the way for the comparatively youthful and energetic Chilima widely seen as a hands-on and results-oriented leader after he vibrantly led the Public Sector Reforms Programme that has lost steam since it was moved from his domain.
But Mwanamvekha defended the endorsements, as he noted that the trend is common in many democratic countries across the world where the incumbent is backed to recontest the presidency for a number of reasons.
He said Mutharika’d leadership qualities and overall approach to national development have been outstanding.
Mustaffa Hussein, a political analyst based at Chancellor College, said the convention is the right forum to earn fresh mandate as per DPP constitution.
But DPP gurus are declaring Mutharika will go unopposed at the convention.
Mutharika has personally declared that he will seek a second and final mandatory term next year, saying he is not going to lead DPP in the elections, the party will be heading to opposition.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :