United Democratic Front (UDF) Balaka North legislator Lucius Banda has said he will support the parry’s President Atupele Muluzi in contesting the 2019 presidential elections if he divorces the toxic relationship with ruling Democratic Progressive Party (DPP).
Since the 2014 elections, UDF has been in a parliamentary relationship with DPP and Muluzi is serving in the Cabinet of President Peter Mutharika.
Banda, the only UDF legislator who opposed the alliance with DPP, said he has the support of Muluzi only if he is not in the armpits of DPP.
“If Atupele comes out of the DPP relationship I will support him, but if he is not clear, I will be forced to contest against him in order to save the party from dying,” he said in quotes reported by Weekend Nation.
The paper reports that UDF regional governors have asked the party’s national executive committee (NEC) to start working on contesting the 2019 presidential elections.
Banda said he is “observing what is happening”’ saying he will contest against Muluzi at UDF convention if the youthful party leader is not clear about his position with DPP.
UDF spokesperson Ken Ndanga, has also confirmed that the party governors are protesting any move to go to the polls on a DPP ticket, according to the newspaper report.
Said Ndanga: “It is true that regional governors asked the party leadership to contest at presidential level. The governors specifically asked Muluzi to contest as a UDF president at the convention so that he could contest at the 2019 elections.”
The UDF publicist said the party is yet to decide who will contest at the presidential level, as the party’s convention, to be held in the first quarter of 2018 will decide who the 2019 presidential candidate will be.
Ndanga further clarified that the UDF NEC has powers to terminate the parliamentary relationship between the UDF and DPP as empowered by article 10 (f) of the UDF constitution which reads in part that: “The national conference shall have a right to review, ratify, alter, or rescind any decision taken by any organ or member of the party.
“This means that a decision that NEC has made or will be made in future regarding the working relationship with other parties would be ratified or overturned by the national conference.”
He said the convention agenda will be guided by article 10 (h) of the party constitution which says that the party shall hold at least one national conference every six years to receive and consider the president’s, secretary general’s report, treasurer general’s report and to elect members of NEC and other office bearers of the party.
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