The opposition Malawi Congress Party (MCP) is propping up supporte for Mzimba North legislator Catherine Gotani Hara as its candidate for the race of Speaker of Parliament.
This follows a lobbying by women activists for the country to have a woman as head of one arm of government – the legislature.
MCP are also backing Nancy Tembo, who won as an independent, to be First Deputy Speaker.
While sources in Demmocratic Progressive Party (DPP) say former first deputy speaker Esther Mcheka Chilenje will be favourite to be the candidate. Another name sounded is that of Bright Msaka.
UTM Party and PP said they will vote for a capable candidate regardless of political affiliation.
PP spokesperson Ackson Kalaile Banda said his party, which was in an electoral alliance with MCP, will support a candidate fit for the job.
He said: “We are going to support a candidate that has dignity and ready to govern in a mature way.”
UTM Party director of publicity Joseph Chidanti Malunga agreed with Banda, saying: “Gone are the times that we should be electing a Speaker based on party. We should look at capability.”
Commentators say as the House elects a Speaker this coming week, let merit and levelheadedness, not benefits and self-enrichment be the guiding principles.
In the May 21 Tripartite Elections, DPP won 62 seats in the 193-seat National Assembly, MCP and independents got 55 each with United Democratic Front (UDF) getting 10, People’s Party (PP) won five, UTM Party has four and Alliance for Democracy (Aford) has one. Parliamentary elections were held in 192 constituencies.