As the hype surrounding the May 21 2019 tripartite elections continues to rise, governing Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) has announced it would hold joint primary elections for parliamentary and council ward candidates on October 15 and 16, 2018 in southern region.
Many people have expressed interest and have been campaigning underground to become candidates for the party, according to the party’s vice president for southern region, Kondwani Nankhumwa.
“The primaries are aimed at narrowing the field of candidates to a single person to represent DPP during the tripartite elections” Nankhumwa has said,
On Wednesday, October 3, 2018, Nankhumwa met regional committee members and aspiring candidates at the party’s regional headquarters in Blantyre “to map out the way forward regarding the conducting of primaries in the region”.
“I am happy to inform you that we had fruitful discussions and looked at the challenges and opportunities that lie ahead of the primaries. It is extremely heartening that we agreed on most of the crucial aspects as regards the process of conducting the primaries.
“So, I can confirm to you that there will be primaries in all constituencies where DPP has no sitting MPs. We shall conduct primaries in all constituencies where we have sitting MPs at later dates, which shall be duly announced in due course,” Nankhumwa told Nyasa Times in an interview on the sidelines of the consultative meeting in Blantyre.
He added that he called on all aspirants to practice issue-based and civilized politics and avoid political violence and intimidation, which would divide the party.
Nankhumwa, who is also local government and rural development minister as well as Mulanje central legislator, disclosed that there shall be no secret ballot during the primaries as earlier suggested in some quarters and that presiding officers shall members of the party’s national governing council (NGC) “but from other regions”.
The party VP also disclosed that each ‘area committee’ in a constituency’ will be required to contribute 15 members who will make an electoral college for the entire constituency accepted by all aspirants. Members of the electoral colleges will be thoroughly vetted by the presiding officers before they are allowed to vote, he said.
Nankhumwa was accompanied at the meeting by national publicity director and minister of information, Nicholas Dausi and regional governor, Charles Mchacha.
Dausi encouraged all aspirants and committee members to respect the party leadership hierarchy, emphasizing that Nankhumwa in southern region VP and that they must all accept that he is the one to deal with relevant party matters affecting the party in the region in liaison with the regional committee leadership.
Mchacha appealed to aspirants that would not succeed during the primaries “to take heart” and accept the results “honourably”.
He assured them that the party has put in place mechanisms that would ensure that those that lose during primaries are “looked after very well”, by among other things, giving them “equally important roles within the party and elsewhere”.
Two women aspirant MPs from Nsanje and Mwanza district, Gladys Ganda and Joyce Chitsulo, respectively, expressed satisfaction with the ground rules that the party had devised to ensure that the primary elections process is free, fair and transparent .Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :