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DPP withdraws from Mangochi by-elections

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The ruling Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) has backed down on its intention to take part in the April 10 by-elections for Malindi Ward in Mangochi District.

DPP Mangochi Malindi district governor, Albert Dinesi, confirmed the development in an interview, saying the district committee has received communication from the party instructing them to stop making arrangements of fielding a candidate in the ward.

The Malawi Electoral Commission is holding by-elections in two wards of Malindi and Milonde in Mulanje South East Constituency following the death of office-bearers in December last year.

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Despite fielding a candidate in Milonde Ward, DPP has opted out of Malindi elections due to what some sources say is the relationship between DPP and United Democratic Front (UDF).

“We had finished all the preparations to field the candidate but we have just received communication [to the effect] that we should stop the processes because DPP wants to support the UDF candidate during the elections,” Dinesi said.

He said the withdrawn candidate, George Chiwaula, has since decided to contest as an independent candidate.

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UDF publicity secretary, Ken Ndanga, expressed gratitude that DPP has decided to support the UDF candidate in the by-election.

“Despite that we did not discuss this arrangement, UDF is very grateful that DPP has decided to support our candidate,” Ndanga said.

However, Ndanga dismissed suggestions that the two parties, which have been working together in Parliament since 2014, will partner in the 2019 tripartite elections.

“Let us not discuss that at the moment. It is better for us to dwell on the current arrangement. UDF is a big party and will make its decision known to its supporters. We are in no electoral relationship with any political party,” Ndanga said.

Meanwhile, DPP publicity secretary, Francis Kasaila, has refused to confirm that the party has decided to support a UDF candidate, saying the party would make its position known soon.

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