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4 vie for MCP’s Southern Region chairmanship

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Four people are expected to battle for the leadership of the opposition Malawi Congress Party (MCP) Southern Region committee at the elections to be conducted today at Lunzu Council Hall.

Current regional chairman, Denis Nanthumba, is expected to face Eston Kakhome, veteran politician Samuel Kaphuka and Peter Simbi.

Director of Elections, Maxwell Thyolera, said the four and contestants in other positions had passed a vetting process which took place on Wednesday.

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“As a committee, we agreed that since the people were endorsed by their district and constituency chairmen, they should be allowed to contest,” Thyolera said.

The issue of vetting created tension prior to the party’s convention in 2013. On the last day, it was not clear which of the party’s 12 presidential aspirants would be given a go ahead to contest.

However, all contestants competed, including current president Lazarus Chakwera.

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Meanwhile, Thyolera has revealed that the response from the party’s members has been overwhelming.

“We didn’t expect to have such a response. When we were closing receiving nomination forms on June 10, 2015, we noted that most of the top positions had more than one person contesting,” Thyolera said.

He said the party has put in place measures that will ensure free and fair election

“We are ready for the elections. We want our members to respect the party’s four cornerstones: unity, loyalty, obedience and discipline during the elections. We want free and fair elections,” he said.

There have been leadership wrangles in the Southern Region since December last year.

A splinter group opposing Nanthumba elected Eston Kakhome as new chairman. However, MCP Nec nullified the elections.

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