UDF to start primaries for Atupele and sitting MPs in Jan

United Democratic Front (UDF)  has said the party has started primary elections for  all the 193 constituencies as one way of upholding its democratic principles but they will conduct in constituencies with sitting MPs in January.

UDF spokesman Ken Ndanga said all sitting MPs including its presidential candidate Atupele Muluzi will face a contest.

“No constituency will be exempted from primaries, people have to exercise their powers to vote and field who they want to represent them,” Ndanga told Nyasa Times.

UDF described primary elections as the only forum through which the party can identify candidates to represent it party in 2014 tripartite elections.

UDF president Atupele Muluzi
UDF president Atupele Muluzi

Suggestions to skip primary elections in constituencies with incumbent members of parliament (MPs) reportedly created divisions in the parties with some die hard follows accusing their leaders of being undemocratic.

Until a few days ago, reports were rife that some senior members have proposed that in constituencies where the party has sitting MPs, no primary elections should be held to appreciate the incumbents’ loyalty to the party.

Tens of MPs for the DPP dumped the party soon after the death of Bingu wa Mutharika in April 2012 to join now the ruling People’s Party (PP) whose leader Joyce Banda, then Mutharika’s estranged vice-president, took over the mantle in line with constitutional order.

Similarly, scores of MPs also dumped the UDF after Mutharika formed his own DPP in January 2005.

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