Malawi’s oldest party Malawi Congress Party (MCP) is going to hold a national convention to elect new leaders probably by January 2018, its party president Dr Lazarous Chakwera told Nyasa Times in an exclusive interview.
Chakwera said during the convention, the party is expected to elect a president who will also be the torchbearer in 2019 elections and that all positions in the the party’s national executive committee (NEC) will be open for contests.
“The convention will be held next year . We will have an early convention so that we have ample time to prepare for 2019 elections,” Chakwera told Nyasa Times.
“The issue of convention is going to be resolved, its not a question, the convention is mandatory. I became president of MCP because I won a contest at the convention. So there is no way you could say you will not have a convention.
“When we do have a convention and is an elected convention we will have all seats declared vacant so that anyone can compete for any position. That has been a hall mark of the MCP,” Chakwera told Nyasa Times.
In April, amid increased internal squabbles, party secretary general Gustav Kaliwo and his deputy Chatonda Kaunda, announced the party would hold a national convention from July 7 to 9 this year, following growing concerns from some of the party’s regional and district leaders with the leadership.
Kaliwo, a private practice lawyer, then quoted Article 40 of the MCP constitution, which states that district committees or the national executive committee are mandated to call for a convention.
But Chakwera obtained an injunction in June, arguing that Kaliwo was supposed to put across to the party’s politburo the request for an emergency convention.
When asked if the decision to hold the convention next year would end persisting infighting throughout the ranks of the MCP, Chakwera flashed a smile, and said the convention next year would allow the party to sort through its issues ahead of 2019 polls.
He said MCP is a democratic party and it does not just respect the country’s laws but even its own constitution.
“All positions will be open for contests and we start to go forward to the real goal which is becoming the next government,” he said.
Chakwera called the decision to hold a convention next year the “right choice” to prepare well for the 2019 Tripartite Elections.
He said MCP is undergoing transition, which must be celebrated at all levels by every bonafide members, instead of fighting the leadership.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :