The Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) and President Peter Muthrika are in a deadlock regarding choice for 2019 runningmate with United Democratic Front (UDF) reportedly giving the ruling party a list of demands to be met as part of its terms for an electoral alliance, forcing a switch to former Speaker of Parliament, Chimunthu Banda, as a more viable option for a running mate in the 2019 presidential race.
According to sources, the DPP had commissioned a team comprising Kondwani Nankhumwa, Frank Mphepo and Ben Phiri to engage former President Bakili Muluzi, who remains partron of UDF, for an electoral alliance ahead of their 2019 Tripartite Elections.
However, Mutharika has been rattled by the demands by Muluzi who, among other things has demanded that, apart from Atupele Muluzi being picked runningmate, he must be appointed the country’s Second Vice President and the UDF should also be given 5 Ministerial positions, 5 Parastatal CEO positions as well as 5 positions for Parastatal Board Chairperson – all appointments to be made, immediately, in the current government on the day of signing of the agreement.
The trio felt uncomfortable with the demands and reported back to Mutharika that Muluzi is scheming to wrestle power from DPP through his son.
The three DPP gurus agreed with Mutharika to put the Atupele deal and negoations on hold.
Thereafter, they approached Chimunthu Banda arguing the DPP needs votes fom the central region more than estern region.
Chimunthu was given assurances by the trio that he would be appointed runningmate to Mutharika and that he be wecolmed into the party at a stop over rally in NKhotakota on Thursday.
However, knowing DPP tactics too well and fearing of being duped, Chimunthu demanded that he meets Mutharika in person to hear the offer from the horse’s mouth before going public.
Sources said Mutharika showed no committment hence no show for Chimunthu at the stop over rally.
This means DPP is still scouting and strateging on the runningmate issue.
But, according to the source the DPP inner circle that forced Vice President SaulosChilima to quit remains strong and resistant to accepting an outsider to get that position againas they would like to maintain the DPP Presidency in the Lhomwe belt as part of their continued promotion of the Mulhako agenda.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :