The former governing United Democratic Front (UDF) say it will select its presidential candidate in 2013, a year before the general elections.
The party has however announced that it will a national convention in April 2012 which will not elect a presidential candidate, but a new national executive committee.
“The United Democratic Front…has identified core funding for the holding of its next National Conference (Convention) which is tentatively scheduled for April, 2012,” UDF Secretary General Kennedy Makwangwala said in a statement.
According to Makwangwala, the UDF’s constitution stipulates that a presidential candidate is elected a year before the elections.
UDF said the new NEC will prepare and organise “an extraordinary conference in 2013 for election of the UDF presidential candidate and running mate.”
The party says it will need more than K20 million ($119 760) for its national convention next year.
Those aspiring for the UDF presidency include interim president Friday Jumbe a former finance minister, leading neurologist Dr George Nga Mtafu, former vice president Dr Cassim Chilumpha, lawyer Fahad Assan, Dr Saizi Bwanali and former sports minister and football commentator Moses Dossi.
In September, MP for Machinga North East Atupele Muluzi, son to former president Bakili Muluzi, expressed interest to contest on UDF ticket as 2014 presidential candidate.
The party old guards suspended him after declaring his presidential bid. The younger Muluzi has backing of 16 MPs out of the 193 legislators in the National Assembly.
UDF has been rocked in division since Muluzi plagued by ill-health, stepped down as chairman in 2009.