UDF- DPP merger faces stern rejection

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Opposition United Democratic Front (UDF) President Atupele Muluzi is being warned against letting the party to be ‘swallowed’ by the ruling Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) ahead of the 2019 elections.

Iqbar Omar

Omar: We want UDF to be active again.

This comes hot in the heels of reports the UDF intends to fully submit itself to the DPP.

In 2015 DPP and UDF made a coalition following the appointment of Muluzi as Minister of Natural Resources and Mining.

UDF Members of Parliament also moved to the government side although MP for Balaka North Lucius Banda declined to move.

Meanwhile, UDF first vice-president Iqbar Omar has said he has joined the fight against the feared merger.

He says he will back Banda in making sure the party is part of the DPP.

According to Omar, who was fired from the party for ‘his tendency not to respect the party’s decisions and ideas’, UDF will not give in to the merger.

Recently, UDF MPs from the Central Region conducted a meeting where they asked Muluzi to make it clear what the future holds for their party as it is still clinging to the ruling party.

Earlier this year political analyst Humphreys Mvula told Malawi24 that all mergers the country has had before have benefitted the party in government and the major challenge is that Malawi does not have legislation governing pre and post-election mergers.

Atupele Muluzi, Peter Mutharika

Atupele Muluzi (R) with President Peter Mutharika. Has he been eaten up by the DPP?

Another commentator Wonderful Mkhutche  faulted the coalition arguing that UDF could have concentrated on building a strong stand ahead of 2019 elections.

“UDF should forget about 2019. Three years working with the government; it is part of its failures. They cannot criticise a government they have been part of. On the other hand, if they are looking at 2019 to be part of the DPP government, should it win back its mandate, they have made wrong political calculations. DPP does not need UDF,” said Mkhutche.

The political scientist said that with time the UDF will start losing its popularity something which could have not have happened if they had chosen to be on their own and had strategized how best they can one day go back into power.

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