Malawi’s ruling Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) are planning to reschedule it’s much awaited convention which was set for June this year amidst political developments within the party.
DPP secretary general Grezeldar Jeffrey said the exact date for the convention will be announced by the chairperson of the convention in due course.
But party insiders says since State Vice-President Saulos Chilima announced that he will not come to the convention to challenge President a Peter Mutharika as the party’s torch bearer in next year’s elections, the party has decided to take its time in preparing the convention.
DPP vice-president for the South George Chaponda declared that President Mutharika will go unopposed at the party’s convention and represent the party in the 2019 Tripartite Elections.
Chaponda said their “democratic system” allows Mutharika to automatically go for a second term; hence, no need to subject him to voting.
“There are plans to shift the convention to future dates,” said an official in the administrative office of the party.
DPP last held its convection on April 17, 2013 with Peter Mutharika coming out as the party’s torch bearer for the 2014 elections after beating his only contender Henry Chimunthu Banda.
However, according to article 8, point 4 of the DPP convention, the party is expected to hold a National Political Conference (Convention) after every two years or an extra ordinary one in between at the request of the National Governing Council (NGC).
There have been concerns from some quarters in the party over the delay by the executive to call for the convention with some accusing the party’s executive members of operating illegally as their two-year term had expired.
Last year, results of an Afrobarometer Survey revealed that if elections were to be held then Malawi Congress Party (MCP) president and leader of the opposition in Parliament Lazarus Chakwera would win the elections.
During the May 20 2014 Tripartite Elections, Mutharika got 36 percent of the presidential vote to oust then incumbent Joyce Banda.