Divisions threatened to tear the former governing Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) apart on Monday over the decision by some members to endorse former president Peter Mutharika to be the torchbearer in the 2025 Tripartite Elections.
Besides endorsing Mutharika, the party’s national governing council (NGC) meeting at the former head of State’s house in Mangochi District also set dates for the party’s two conventions, namely extraordinary convention to amend the constitution in December this year and an elective conference next July.
Mutharika’s endorsement was moved by DPP regional governor for the North Christopher Mzomera Ngwira and seconded by Blantyre City Central legislator Chipiliro Mpinganjira.
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CUE IN: SPLENDOR DPP NGC
Speaking to the media after the meeting, Mutharika, who lost the court-sanctioned fresh presidential election to President Lazarus Chakwera and Tonse Alliance on June 23 2020, said he was still considering the endorsement.
He said: has taken the endorsement under advice and he appreciates very much that people have shown confidence in him that they appreciate what we did when the party was in power.
Mutharika, who led the country from 2014 to 2020, said he will in due course let the party and the nation know about his decision.
During the NGC meeting, he said they discussed several issues affecting the party.
He said he was hopeful that the party would hold an elective conference in July 2024 as planned by the NGC.
The DPP extraordinary convention is expected to adopt the party’s new constitution and has been planned for December this year.
DPP secretary general Grezelder Jeffrey on Monday said she did not attend the meeting because she was in court in Lilongwe over an injunction some
members of the party took to stop the NGC meeting from taking place.
But party spokesperson Shadric Namalomba said the decision to endorse Mutharika was unanimous.
Namalomba said despite the endorsement, Mutharika will still have to get the mandate from the delegates to the July 2024 convention.
Zomba Chisi legislator Mark Botomani concurred, saying the NGC meeting was not democratic.
Last month, the High Court in Lilongwe granted an injunction to DPP deputy director of political affairs Billy Malata who, in his sworn statement, argued that the people invited to attend the meeting were more than those recognised under the DPP constitution as members of the NGC.
On Sunday, his lawyer Wapona Kita said the party will be dragged to court for contempt if it continued with the meeting.