Cracks are emerging in the United Democratic Front – UDF/Democratic Progressive Party – DPP electoral alliance as the former refuses to endorse its partner’s candidate ahead of next Tuesday’s elections.
It follows Nsanje Central UDF candidate Laston Katole’s withdrawal from the race for personal reasons.
The development means the race is now left to the DPP’s Francis Kasaira, Esmy Bande of the Democratic People’s Congress – DEPECO, the Malawi Congress Party’s Kafandikhale Mandevana and Nzeru Mybeck of the UTM.
Asked if the UDF has endorsed the DPP candidate since they are in an alliance, the party’s Secretary General Kandi Padambo said;
“You are telling me that. I am hearing from you.”
Padambo argued that it is up to their supporters to choose who they want.
“The UDF supporters are going to vote for the candidate of their choice. We are busy with our own candidates in other areas (3 constituencies and 1 ward) trying to mobilise supporters.” He emphasized.
When contacted by Capital FM for a comment, DPP’s Spokesperson Brown Mpinganjira could not pick up his mobile phone.
Meanwhile, an independent candidate for Chikwawa East, Finason Thengulo has also withdrawn her candidature ahead of similar polls.
His withdrawal, leaves 6 people contesting for the seat.
While saying that it is their constitutional right to withdrawal, Media and Public Relations Director for the Malawi Electoral Commission-MEC Sangwani Mwafulirwa however laments that such conduct inconveniences the commission, especially when ballot papers have already been printed as the situation is at the moment.
“Their names are still appearing on the ballot paper and on the polling day the commission has to delete the name of that candidate on the ballot and inform people that the candidate has withdrawn,” Mwafulirwa added.
MEC is conducting fresh elections in Chikwawa East, Nsanje North and Nsanje Central constituencies along with by-elections in the constituencies of Karonga North west, Ntchisi North, Lilongwe Msinja South and Zomba Changalume including Liviridzi and Chitakale wards in Balaka West and Mulanje South constituencies.