Minister of Lands and Housing, Henry Duncan Phoya withdrew from the primary elections of the ruling People’s Party (PP) in Blantyre Rural East constituency where he is a sitting MP.
Phoya pulled out after complaining what he described as “strange happenings” two days before the re-run. The re-run was scheduled for Sunday.
He was facing Steven Mijiga and Malawi Writers Union president Sambalikagwa Mvona.
Returning officer for the primaries, Ephraim Chibvunde confirmed with Nyasa Times that Phoya withdrew from the race.
“Yes Honourable Phoya withdrew from the race, he was not amongst the people contesting on Sunday,” he said.
Chibvunde however said Sunday re-run faced some challenges too.
“One of the contestant, Mr Mijiga had come with trucks loaded with maize flour to give the electorate,” said Chibvunde.
“I had seen the trucks but the flour was not distributed. People were promised to get the flour after polling. I reported the issue to the party secretariat and acting secretary general Paul Maulidi instructed that the trucks with the maize flour should be moved away from the areas where voting was taken place. So they were moved to Police,” he said.
Chibvunde said the atmosphere remained peaceful and orderly to proceed with re-run.
Meanwhile, Phoya told Nyasa Times that he pulled out of the race on principal.
“During the first elections my 3,000 votes were not counted. And people rushed to MBC TV to portray me as I lost which gave me indications there were strange happenings,” he said.
“These strange developments before the primaries made me feel the rerun would be a charade. I felt these strange developments would compromise the credibility of a free and fair polls,” said Phoya.
Asked what will be his next political move, soft speaking Phoya said he was not politically moved.
“My next political move is to work closely with Her Excellency President Dr Joyce Banda and the entire PP party to ensure that our President and the People’s Party should win the forthcoming elections resoundingly,” he said.
Phoya said he remained loyal to PP and President Banda, saying “my political beliefs have not changed. I have a role to play in the PP and support President Joyce Banda’s transformational agenda.”Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :