Former Energy and Mining Minister in late president Bingu Wa Mutharika’s administration Grain Malunga on Monday pulled out of the ruling Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) primary elections contest for Chikwawa North constituency due to disagreements on the legitimate number of delegates to vote.
Malunga, who once served as the Member of Parliament for the area between 2009 to 2014, protested over selection of area committee members in Mwamphanzi ward. He requested the presiding officer for the elections to call out names of the delegates for transparent purposes.
However, Lomeyo Bwanali, who came from the party’s Secretariat to preside over the elections did not comply to Malunga’s request.
In Ndalanda ward in the same constituency aspiring councillor Kondwan Alfazema also pulled out on similar grounds.
During an interview Bwanali said the party will announce the outcome of the primary elections without specifying whether the party shall conduct a re-run of the election in the Constituency.
Malunga was competing against the youthful and upcoming politician Owen Chomanika
in an interview Chomanika accused Malunga of pulling out of the contest after noting that he was not going to win.
On the other hand Malunga insisted his pulling out meant that the elections were cancelled in the constituency.
Malunga said he has written the Director of election in the DPP Ben Phiri for the constituency to have a re run of the elections.
Spokesperson for the DPP Nicholas Dausi said the party is yet to get a report on the primary elections in Chikwawa.
The ruling DPP has started conducting primary elections in the lower shire districts of Nsanje and Chikwawa targeting constituencies where the party does not have sitting MPs. These constituencies are Chikwawa North, Chikwawa East and Nsanje Lalanje.
This has raised fears as to whether the party intends to impose candidates in the constituencies where the party has sitting MPs in the lower shire.