Tembo says MCP to have leadership contest

Malawi Congress Party (MCP) president John Tembo has said there will be tough competition for the party’s leadership at the convention, disclosing that there are many aspiring candidates who will contest.

“There are so many aspirants for the presidency in Malawi Congress Party,” Tembo said in an interview on Zodiak Broadcasting Services Tiuzeni Zoona programme on Sunday.

He was responding to a question by host Pirilani Phiri who asked him to comment on reports that some MCP supporters in the party’s stronghold of central region are demanding that there should be a national convention to elect new leaders.

Tembo described those calling for a convention as not genuine MCP followers.

Tembo: Says MCP will have leadership contest

“Some of the people making demands are mercenaries,” said Tembo.

The group calling itself ‘Genuine Supporters of the MCP’ wants Tembo to call for a convention to hear their views.

They argue that the convention would be ideal to repair the damage caused by internal wrangles and prepare MCP for elections in 2014.

Tembo said he has not received the petition from the group but pointed out that he heard that some people were demanding for a convention at a meeting in Nkhotakota. He said MP Kaphamtengo Yona explained to them the procedures of calling a convention.

MCP recently expelled secretary general Chris Daza for expressing his interest to bid for the party’s presidency. Daza was reinstated by a court order.

Tembo said Daza was not the only one aspiring for the top post, saying there were many others and he was expecting the presidency to be a more drawn-out battle.

He however labelled Daza as someone who was breaching four corner stones upon which the party is founded: Unity, loyalty, obedience and discipline.  The aspiring candidates were respecting the four corner stones, the MCP leader said.

Tembo himself hinted he might run in the 2014 elections if the party nominated him as presidential candidate.

On  article 36 of MCP constitution which restrict the veteran politician to have a third run for the presidency, he said the constitution is a living document which is subject to be amended by party members at a convention.

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