Ruling Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) is urging patience over its national convention ahead of next year’s Tripartite Elections, saying an organising committee will soon be set up to announce the exact date and venue for the indaba.
This comes amid the backdrop of concerns from the DPP members supporting Vice-President Saulos Chilima’s presidential candidacy who are accusing the party of deliberately withholding the details.
DPP deputy spokesperson Zeria Chakale said it is only the chairman of the organising committee who can fix the date and venue.
However, a political scientist Ernest Thindwa says the delays to provide the details does not level the intraparty playing field.
“The standard procedure is that parties announce the holding of a convention with the date and venue to allow members prepare for it fully,” he said.
Mutharika, 79, is facing unprecedented challenge from 49 year old vice president Saulos Chilima.
President Mutharika has earmarked Chimunthu Banda, the person he defeated at the convention five years ago as the new DPP secretary general.
Speaking during a political rally in Chiradzulu on Tuesday, Mutharika said the DPP would soon hold a convention where all the positions would be up for grabs.
He also disclosed that the party would conduct primary elections between August and September this year for candidates aspiring to contest in the parliamentary and local government elections on the DPP ticket.
“Some people have been asking for a convention which has been granted and now they want to obtain an injunction to stop the same convention they wanted. What are they afraid of?” wondered Mutharika, noting that the DPP was very democratic.
Mutharika announced that the DPP has started strategizing for the 2019 Operation Landslide victory.
Meanwhile, some DPP officials close to Mutharika have started to open campaign for posts that are currently held by officials that have declared their support for Chilima.
Maria Ndasowa of Bvumbwe in Thyolo has declared that she will vie for the post of director of women which is currently held by Patricia Kaliati of the so-called Chilima Movement, who as the key speaker at a news conference at Golden Peacock Hotel in Lilongwe branded Mutharika as a ‘clueless’ leader and nominated Chilima as their presidential candidate at the convention.
Chimwemwe Chipungu has declared interest to run for the position of national organising Secretary which is currently held by Richard Makondi of the Chilima Movement.
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