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Khumbo Kachali endorses Lazarus Chakwera

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By Pilirani Kachinziri:

Former vice president Khumbo Kachali’s Freedom Party has formed an electoral alliance with Malawi Congress Party (MCP) as May 21 Tripartite Elections campaign gathers momentum.

This was announced by MCP president Lazarus Chakwera at a press conference he addressed in Blantyre Sunday.

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At the conference, Chakwera, was flanked by his deputy Sidik Mia, second vice president Harry Mkandawire and Kachali.

“I am happy this evening to announce that we have reached an agreement with Right Honourable Khumbo Kachali, president of the Freedom Party, to enter into these elections together because Freedom Party subscribes to the ideals of MCP,” Chakwera said.

He said forming an alliance with Freedom Party is a big catch for MCP because Kachali will form a perfect political chemistry with Mkandawire and Mia.

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“Make your calculations and see if anybody can beat this combination,” Chakwera said.

Following the signing of the alliance, Kachali has withdrawn from the presidential race to the pave way for Chakwera and his running mate Mia.

“We, in the Freedom Party, subscribe to Chakwera to lead this country on our behalf. Malawians of goodwill here in Malawi and in the diaspora, I would wish to state that Malawi requires what we call change,” Kachali said.

Former president Joyce Banda and Kachali were expelled from Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) in December 2010 for allegedly forming parallel party structures.

The two are on record to have said their dismissal was because they refused to endorse the presidential candidature of current DPP leader Peter Mutharika.

Kachali became Banda’s vice after she ascended to power after the death of Bingu wa Mutharika in 2012.

However, prior to the 2014 Tripartite Elections, Kachali, who had been dumped by Joyce Banda as running mate for the People’s Party, endorsed DPP’s Mutharika, who went on to win the elections.

At the same press conference, Chakwera announced that he has resigned as Leader of Opposition in Parliament and Member of Parliament for Lilongwe North West effective February 1 2019.

This is in line with the Malawi Electoral Laws Chapter V111 (7) (e) which state that no person shall be eligible for nomination as a candidate for election as President or First Vice President or for appointment as First Vice President or Second Vice President, if he or she is a holder of public office or a member of Parliament unless that person first resigns.

The MCP president, who will be presenting his presidential nomination papers to Malawi Electoral Commission today, said he has done this to show the nation that he will be a leader who respects the Constitution of the country.

“In the new Malawi, we will operate under the rule of law… from February 1, I have officially resigned as a Member of Parliament and Leader of Opposition,” he said.

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