DPP presidential aspirants should not be forced to pave way for Mutharika, says Nankhumwa

Kondwani Nankhumwa speaking at a press briefing this morning in Blantyre where he said he will contest for the position of DPP president at the party’s convention

Leader of Opposition Kondwani Nankhumwa has warned party president Peter Mutharika against intimidating Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) presidential aspirants to stand down and support his candidacy.

Speaking at a press briefing this morning, Nankhumwa said he will contest for the position of DPP president at the party’s convention slated for this week, claiming that he was accepting a call from DPP members and other stakeholders of the society.

He noted that Mutharika also plans to make a comeback and contest for the position for a third five-year term as DPP president. While claiming that Mutharika’s third term bid is against the DPP constitution, Nankhumwa said he respects Mutharika’s decision to seek re-election.

He, however, said it is wrong for Mutharika and his supporters to demand other presidential candidates to stand down and pave way for him.

Nankhumwa argued that Mutharika must be allowed to campaign and compete at the convention and also allow other candidates to do the same .

“Other candidates must not be made to fall away just because Mutharika has chosen to come back against his own pronouncements and the DPP constitution,” said Nankhumwa.

He also said that he wants to become DPP president to restore the glory of the party which he claims has now been taken over by a small group of people surrounding party leader Mutharika.

“There is no intra-party democracy because a few people around the president have become the law unto themselves. People are now being expelled from the party for simply disagreeing with members of this inner circle,” said Nankhumwa.

According to Nankhumwa, the DPP has lost track since 2014 when it was elected into power under Peter Mutharika and has degenerated into anarchy after losing the 2020 presidential elections.

Nankhumwa said he wants the DPP to be a political party that promotes peace, unity, democracy and the rule of law  while encouraging investment and  freedom of choice.

“Under my leadership, the DPP shall advocate for the strengthening of our national identity, peace and unity and economic liberalization. Borrowing a leaf from my mentor Professor Bingu Wa Mutharika, the DPP under my leadership shall advocate and promote values of democracy mixed with homegrown economic policies,” said Nankhumwa.