Main opposition, the Malawi Congress Party (MCP) has put on hold primary elections for parliamentary and local government elections amid concerns from aspiring candidates that this would negatively affect the preparations for the polls.
MCP secretary general Eisenhower Mkaka has confirmed the postponement and described it as a “domestic matter.”
However, reports indicate that the party has put on hold the primary elections because the newly launched United Transformation Movement (UTM) has proved to be a force to reckon with.
A source in the MCP said the party would want to hold the primary elections after the UTM first holds its own primary elections.
“The thinking is that if the MCP holds the primary elections now, the losers would defect to UTM ad this would affect the party preparations for the 2019 elections,” said our source.
MCP vice president Harry Mkandawire said there were some “logistical problems” that the party want to do first before holding the primary elections.
But political commentators Mustafa Hussein and Ernest Thindwa have faulted political parties for the delays in holding the primary elections.
Thindwa said main political parties needed to hold primary elections so as to allow people choose candidates of their choice, saying the delays in holding the primary elections might put candidates not wanted by people on the ballot paper.
The ruling Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) has also put its much touted August primary elections on hold as the party has gone back to the drawing board following the popularity of the UTM.