The governing Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) has succumbed to pressure of the division rocking the party over its presidential candidates between President Mutharika and Vice President Saulos Chilima, therefore the much awaited convention has been set for June this year.
Therefore all positions including that of the presidency are up for grabs.
In a press statement dated May 30, 2018 and made available to The Maravi Post, DPP secretary general Grezeldar Jeffrey said the exact date for the convention will be announced by the chairperson of the convention in due course.
DPP SG Jeffrey Confirmed in a telephone interview saying the indaba will be held in Blantyre at a venue yet to be verified.
“Yes I confirm to have issued the statement, but the actual date for the convention will be announced by the chairperson of the convention in due course. All seats are variable and will be competed for,” confirmed Jeffrey.
DPP last held its convection on April 17, 2013 with Peter Mutharika coming out as the party’s torch bearer for the 2014 elections after beating his only contender Henry Chimunthu Banda.
However, according to article 8, point 4 of the DPP convention, the party is expected to hold a National Political Conference (Convention) after every two years or an extra ordinary one in between at the request of the National Governing Council (NGC).
There have been concerns from some quarters in the party over the delay by the executive to call for the convention with some accusing the party’s executive members of operating illegally as their two-year term had expired.
The convention announcement also comes amid divisions in the governing party as some have openly opposed the candidature of incumbent president Mutharika at the convention and opted for the automatic takeover of vice president Saulos Chilima as the party’s torch bearer in next year’s elections while another section wants Mutharika to continue at the helm.
The later camp has through the media threatened to block the Chilima camp from attending the convention.
Article 8, point 4 of the DPP Constitution National stipulates that a National Political Conference shall consist of all members of the NGC, Regional Committee Members, District Committee Members and nine dully accredited delegates from each constituency drawn from the main committee, the Women’s Committee and the Youth Committee.
The set convention will be the third this year after that of the Malawi Congress Party (MCP) and the Alliance for Democracy (AFORD) which were marred by conflicts.
The United Democratic Party (UDF) and the People’s Party (PP) are yet to announce dates for their conventions.