Opposition United Democratic Front (UDF) party will on Saturday hold a National Executive Committee (NEC) meeting to make final arrangements of the national convention to be held on August 1 in Blantyre ahead of next year’s tripartite elections.
UDF publicist Ken Ndanga confirmED about the the meeting which according to him is in line with the party Constitution that some business at the convention like amendments to the party Constitution needs to be discussed and endorsed by NEC before they are tabled at the National Conference.8
“It is indeed true that we are having a NEC meeting on Saturday but we can not divulge every detail because these are internal matters but I can safely say that National Conference issues will top the agenda,” Ndanga said in an interview with Nyasa Times.
He further said that the party is doing everything possible that the elective National Conference should be inclusive, credible and transparent .
Ndanga said at the moment all NEC members have been served with notice of the meeting and that all the proposed amendments to the constitution have been circulated as per constitutional requirement.
” We have an obligation to follow the constitution and the president Atupele Muluzi has told senior party leaders that he will never want to be associated with breaking of any article in the constitution,” said Ndanga.
He said that the NEC meeting is likely to receive a report from the National Conference Committee on the progress made so far in preparation for the indaba.
Ndanga said after the report is given to the National Executive the party will issue a statement so that the members, suporters and general public are kept abreast of the process leading to the actual event.
So far renowned musician and Balaka North legislature, Lucius Banda and the incumbent party leader Atupele Muluzi are the ones who have expressed interest to battle it out as president for the party.
Its is also said that the current Secretary General , Kandi Padambo wants to retain his position.
However, Ndanga could not say as to who are contestants for various positions saying nomination forms have not be released yet and it is very difficult to know the contenders.
Ndanga himself said he was still considering several options before he makes up his mind on which position to contest.
The party had its last convention in 2012 which elected Atupele Muluzi as it’s presidential candidate for 2014.
Legislator Banda also known as ‘Soldier’ by his fans was co-opted in the National Executive after the National Conference.
UDF appointed a committee to organise the convention chaired by Charles Kachikuwo who is deputised by Mangochi South legislator, Lilian Patel.
Other members of the committee are Carton Sichinga, Clement Chiwaya, who is also Second Deputy Speaker of Parliament, Lance Mbewe, Godfrey Chapola and Clement Stambuli.
Chancellor College-based political analyst Mustafa Hussein has since welcomed the development in UDF.
Hussein said the convention will provide an opportunity to clarify major concerns of some of the party’s members.
“People have great expectation of UDF because it is a mother party. It needs to clarify whether the party will stand on its own or will have an alliance with the ruling DPP [Democratic Progressive Party],” he said.
Atupele, who heads the UDF, is Minister of Health in the DPP-led government.
The UDF leader said he was ready to deliver and make change as Malawi needs youthful leadership that must propel the country to growth.
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