Tembo not to contest as MP in 2014 Malawi polls

Leader of opposition and former president of Malawi Congress Party (MCP) John Tembo has confirmed he will retire at the next election, opening the door for a new face in Dedza south constituency  where he is a sitting Member of Parliament (MP).

The veteran conviction politician made the announcement that he will not contest during the forthcoming elections in 2014 on Sunday during a rally MCP president Lazarus Chakwera addressed at Mgawanyumbu ground in Traditional Authority Kasumbu  in Dedza.

Tembo who is the most long serving member  of parliament said this after the party’s regional chairman, Daniel Mlomo had appealed to him, to make the announcement after the party has identified “the right person to take over from him.”

He told the crowds: ““From 1961, I have been an MP for this constituency. At one point I left this constituency in the hands of someone. Next year I want to hear that the one who will take over from me is an MCP member.

Tembo: Retires
Tembo: Retires

“To you Mr. Regional chairman, I have heard what you have said but what I can say is that it is my wish that when time for primary elections comes, I should not contest. I should retire,” he said.

Tembo made the announcement after speculation that he was poised to retire.

However, Tembo said he will support the MCP candidate who will win during the party’s primary elections so that the party retain the constituency during 2014 tripartite elections.

Tembo first offered to retire from the national executive committee (NEC) and from standing as a presidential candidate.

He first contested for a parliamentary seat in the first multiparty general elections in 1961.

Tembo rose through the ranks while holding some of the key positions in Malawi government, including that of minister of Finance and minister of State as well as governor of the Reserve Bank of Malawi (RBM).

He was one of the key figures in MCP throughout the party’s 31-year rule under the late Hastings Kamuzu Banda which ended in May 1994.

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