United Democratic Front (UDF) has said its alliance with Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) ended because it was an electoral pact.
UDF secretary general Kandi Padambo commenting on some members of the party who attended a rally organised by DPP vice president (South) Kondwani Nankhumwa in Blantyre, said the members were exercising their freedom of association.
Padambo clarified that the alliance was about the fresh presidential elections and that now that they are gone, there was no need to maintain the relationship.
“Of course we have a common denominator which is that both parties are in opposition so we still relate with each other very well,” he said.
Padambo said as a party, they do not have problems with ordinary UDF members attending DPP public rallies “after all we are both opposition parties.”
He said:“UDF members are free to attend political rallies even if Brown Mpinganjira of DPP holds a rally some people can attend in their own right. But as a party, we are done with the electoral alliance.”
Asked to clarify if his comment does not contradict UDF president Atupele Muluzi who said his party will maintain its alliance with DPP) up to the next general election, Padambo said working together as an opposition block does not necessarily mean alliance.
He said UDF will be operating as its own entity with its own direction.
Muluzi—who was running mate for former president Peter Mutharika in the court-ordered June 23 Fresh Presidential Election—said the two parties’ working together was important to ensure a strong opposition in the country.
However, Muluzi, who is son to former president Bakili Muluzi, said in an interview with Nyasa Times that the party has learnt lessons and that it will be consulting its members on key decisions, therefore it was not rigid on the way forward.
He said UDF was keen to embark on a rebuilding exercise.
The DPP and UDF working partnership goes back to Mutharika’s five-year term from May 2014. The two parties went into a working arrangement to guarantee votes in the National Assembly and support the government’s legislative agenda.
In that period, Muluzi held numerous ministerial positions. But in their arrangement pertaining to the fresh presidential election, Mutharika appointed three UDF members into various Cabinet positions, including Muluzi himself.
Currently, Mutharika is facing calls for an early convention to elect his successor after his defeat in the June 23 election. However, the former president has not taken lightly the calls and purging “renewal” faction which includes Leader of Opposition in Parliament Kondwani Nankhumwa, secretary general Grezelder Jeffrey, treasurer general Jappie Mhango and other members.
The development has led to formation of two factions with one being referred as DPP-Mutharika and the other DPP-Nankhumwa.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :