The United Democratic Front (UDF)will not have spokespersons in parliament to speak on its behalf as most of its MPs defected to the ruling People’s Party of president Joyce Banda, Speaker Chimunthu Banda ruled on Thursday
The ruling means UDF as a party will not have a voice in Parliament but only advance the views of ruling PP.
Former ruling Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) MPs queried speaker last week on whether it was regular for UDF to have an input on government business as a separate entity when its party was sitting with government.
“In view of the current situation where the UDF does not have a leader or deputy leader in the house, and that its members are sitting on the government side, the party would not and will not have its own spokesperson because the situation dictates that the UDF should advance views of the government side,” Banda read out the ruling.
The Speaker also informed the House that in 1994 the same scenario arose when the then ruling UDF was in coalition with Aford.
” I take it Mr Speaker Sir that those who sit with government belongs to government and those sitting with us n this side belongs to the opposition,” said the then leader of opposition Gwanda Chakuamba, according to Parliamentary Hansard.
UDF leader in the House, Ibrahim Matola was appointed deputy minister in the inclusive government of President Joyce Banda but he defected to PP.
His deputy, Atupele Muluzi, is the Minister of Economic Planning but he has not defected.
UDF named former minister Clement Chiwaya as their House leader.