Days after the ruling Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) leadership announced the primary election re-runs in some constituencies, some aspirants have withdrawn from the polls.
According to information at hand, five aspiring parliamentary candidates from Phalombe South have withdrawn from the race against the incumbent Mary Mpanga after she came up with her own 233 electoral colleges against the party’s 176 electoral colleges.
One of the candidates, who opted for anonymity, said the rest of the contestants have decided to pull out of the race due to lack of transparency from both the party and the incumbent Member of Parliament.
“As we were approaching primaries, we were told that we will use the party’s 176 electoral colleges but once we arrived for the event on 20th December last year, the incumbent walked away in protest as she claimed that she wasn’t accommodated in the electoral colleges by the party.
“Soon after that, the party announced that the constituency will hold the primary polls again on 9th January, 2019 but to our surprise, the incumbent came up with her own 233 electoral colleges, which doesn’t even exist against the 176 electoral colleges which are legal. So if you can add 233 times 15 people who votes from each area, you would see that she is already having an upper hand over us so we have just decided to pull out of the contest,” she explained.
She also revealed that the candidates were told by the party that two weeks before the primary elections, the aspiring members would be given the whole list of the colleges but to their surprise, the list was revealed on 6th January, days before the re-run which will be held on 11th January.
“So where is the transparency? We can’t compete against someone who has her own electoral college against the party’s college so from the look of things, the party has decided to have her as its candidate so let it be, we have pulled out and we will contest on an independent ticket,” she concluded.
Phalombe South has never produced a DPP MP ever since the party was launched in 2005.
DPP officials are yet to comment on the matter.