Wednesday, July 22, 2009

UDF loses candidate in Ndirande

Bakili Muluzi will have to think about his ill-ness and more trouble for his UDF party back home.
By Lucy Liponda

Former president of Malawi and opposition United Democratic Front (UDF) chairman, Bakili Muluzi who is receiving medical attention in the United Kingdom (UK) will have to do a lot of thinking apart from his ill-ness as his party’s Parliamentary candidate for the forth coming by-elections in Blantyre City Central has withdrawn, Malawi Digest understands.

By-elections in Blantyre City Central and Zomba Malosa Constituencies are scheduled to take place on August, 14, 2009.

The opposition UDF was being represented in the race by Blantyre businessman, Ernest Maganga who has since pledged to work with the government of President Ngwazi Dr Bingu wa Mutharika.

Speaking to Malawi Digest on Tuesday afternoon from his base in Blantyre, Maganga said that he decided to withdraw from the race because the people of Blantyre Central Constituency voted for President Ngwazi Dr Bingu wa Mutharika in the May 19th Presidential polls.

“If the people voted for Ngwazi Dr Bingu wa Mutharika on May 19th, who am I to contest against a DPP candidate in Ndirande? I am ready to work together with the DPP candidate for him to excel in the by-elections,” said Maganga.

Maganga also disclosed that he has quit the opposition UDF of former president Bakili Muluzi describing it as a party that has no future and lacks proper direction.

“I don’t want to be associated with a party whose agenda is to frustrate government’s efforts to develop Malawi as has been with the UDF in the last 5 years,” he said.

People from Blantyre City Central Constituency did not vote for their Parliamentarian on May 19th because a candidate for the New Rainbow Coalition of Loveness Gondwe died a few weeks before the polls.

Meanwhile, following the pulling out of Maganga from the race, the contest remains for nine other aspirant candidates that include Themba Mkandawire for the ruling DPP.

A survey by Malawi Digest in Ndirande Township has revealed that the DPP candidate, Mkandawire will carry the day in the by-elections.

Malawi Digest was not able to get a comment from the independent Malawi Electoral Commission as its spokesperson Fegus Lipenga was reported to be in a meeting.

It is not known if the opposition UDF will be given another chance to choose another candidate to take part in the race replacing Maganga.

If the UDF has no candidate in these by-elections, it will not be the first time for them to do so.

In May this year, the party that ruled Malawi for 10 years for the first time went to the polls without a Presidential candidate after their leader Bakili Muluzi was stopped in his tracks by the courts when he wanted to rape the Malawi Constitution by seeking an unconstitutional third term of office.

Following Muluzi’s failure to take part in the presidential race, he supported John Tembo of the Malawi Congress Party who also failed miserably on the presidency.

Former president Muluzi, has always described John Tembo as a killer and a murder with blood stains in his hands. It is however, not known why the two decided to work together in the May polls- Malawi Digest.

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