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I will contest—Atupele insists

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By Rebecca Chimjeka:

United Democratic Front (UDF) president, Atupele Muluzi, has insisted that he will still contest as a presidential candidate in May 21 elections.

Muluzi, who is serving as Health Minister in the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP)-led government, Wednesday denied reports that he was withdrawing from the race to pave the way for President Peter Mutharika.

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“I am contesting as the UDF torch-bearer in the forthcoming elections. A lot has been said about my candidature, but I am insisting that I am contesting come what may,” Muluzi said in an interview after appearing before Public Affairs Committee (Pac) in Lilongwe.

During the meeting at Sunbird Capital, Pac had Muluzi and Mbakuwaku Movement for Development president, Peter Kuwani, sign a peace accord ahead of the elections.

Asked whether the rumours concerning Muluzi’s candidature would do him any harm, Chancellor College political analyst, Ernest Thindwa, said the UDF leader must be concerned.

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“The onus is on Muluzi to quash the rumours because they are not doing his cause any good as some voters can change his mind on voting for him,” Thindwa said.

After the meeting in Lilongwe, Pac spokesperson Father, Peter Mulomole, said the organisation has started engaging the candidates in line with the peace accord agreement.

“As Pac, we believe that signing the peace accord would minimise conflicts between the contesting parties and abide by the election result announcement procedure. We believe that political leaders have a major role to play,” Mulomole said.

Muluzi is among eight presidential candidates who will appear on the ballot box—irrespective of whether one of them withdraws from the race or not.

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