Alliance for Democracy (Aford) deputy regional chairperson for the North Peter Mkandawire has defected to ruling Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) to garner support for Vice-President Saulos Chilima.

Mkandawire was welcomed in the fold on Wednesday by fired DPP deputy governor (North) Afiki Mbewe, who is currently challenging the party on his firing for openly supporting Chilima.

Briefing journalists on the development, Mkandawire said he has left Aford to support the calls for Chilima to lead the DPP in 2019 elections because he feels the Veep can move the nation out of poverty.

“It has pleased me to join DPP to support the calls for Chilima to be the party’s presidential candidate in next elections. I feel Chilima has the qualities that can develop the country. As you are aware, Aford leadership is in crisis, I cannot continue to associate with that party,” he said.

In his welcoming remarks, Mbewe said Mkandawire is a big figure as far as the country’s politics is concerned and that he will be an ideal person to work with in the quest to have Chilima as DPP torchbearer.

DPP regional governor for the North Kenneth Sanga was not available for comment.

However, Aford spokesperson Khumbo Mwaungulu said he is not worried with Mkandawire’s departure, since he was among the people stirring trouble in the party.

“We are not surprised with that development. In actual sense, he was among the people that were causing problems in the party. It is a blessing that he has gone,” he said.

Mwaungulu also said that he is surprised to see people joining DPP when the party is also in leadership challenges just like them.

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