State Vice President Dr Saulos Klaus Chilima has said he will not be challenging President Peter Mutharika during the forthcoming ruling Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) convention and hinted he is withdrawing his membership from the party.
Addressing a news conference in Lilongwe, Chilima said he does not want to be seen as fighting the owners of the DPP.
The announcement eases tension in the ruling DPP over the power struggle that characterised the party for the past months as some members wanted Mutharika to step aside for Chilima.
“I will follow the due process to leave the party,” he said.
Chilima said he did not want to be seen as bringing confusion to the party founded by President Mutharika’s elder brother, Bingu.
He however said he would be announcing on whether he would be running for presidency or not in due course.
The Vice President did not give a clear indication to what his next political move will be.
Chilima condemned high levels of corruption and nepotism in the country.
The so called Chilima Movement official Joseph Chidanti Malunga MP said the movement is not disappointed that the veep would not be seeking a position in the party.
“We wanted him to be the presidential candidate. We will be meeting him to brain storm on the next step, what banner we will carry ,” he said.
Deputy DPP spokesperson Zeria Chakale said the party would remain intact even if Chilima leaves it.
“DPP is not one person, the vice president has exercised his right,” she said.
Political analyst Ernest Thindwa said Chilima’s attack on DPP government on corruption, nepotism, cronyism, regionalim should be cause for worry as it has eroded the image of the DPP.
Just last week, the Chilima Movemebt held a news conference which was led by the former cabinet minister and Mulanje West MP, Patricia Kaliati where they endorsed him as their presidential candidate against the incumbent president Muthariks whom they said has come of age and needs to retire politics.
The rift between the two factions in the party has created hate speeches and ridicule to the extent that the president himself said he was going to deal with anyone who is against him including those for the Chilima Movement.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :