Opposition Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) interim leader Peter Mutharika has thrown himself into the 2014 presidential race.
Mutharika made the declaration at his first rally in Thyolo district following the sudden death of his brother Bingu wa Mutharika.
Peter, who after the death of his brother assumed the leadership mantle of the party, told the well patronized rally that his party will hold a convention soon to decide on who leads the DPP to 2014 polls.
He therefore disclosed that as a democrat he is ready to support any individual who becomes victorious at the convention. However, he did not specifically say the actual date of the indaba.
“I am a democrat and we will have a convention where we will choose the president of the party, secretary general, treasure and presidential candidate. If you chose me I will not refuse,” said Mutharika, according to a report by The Daily Times newspaper.
He also dispelled reports that he is already the presidential candidate of DPP as he was rubberstamped by his late brother Bingu.
He said: “People were saying Bingu imposed me on you. But have you been forced to come here? Did Masangwi force you to come here? I am sure you have come out of your own will.
“So at the convention you will have the freedom to choose whoever you want. But let me say this and make it official that from today I am a presidential candidate. I want the world to understand that I declare myself that I will contest at the convention.”
Added the former Foreign Affairs minister: “If you chose someone else I will support him or her, if you choose me I will support myself. What is more important is that the DPP must return into power.”
Mutharika came at the Thyolo community ground in an open Land Rover fully clad in DPP cloth and was surrounded by a phalanx of bodyguards most of whom belonged to the presidential protection unit of his late brother.
Meanwhile, some analysts say the well patronage seen at the DPP rally signifies the intensity of political atmosphere as the country braces for the 2014 polls and should give the ruling People’s Party some food for thought.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :