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Trouble brewing in DPP

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Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) Members of Parliament (MPs) are complaining that some senior officials in the party are identifying other candidates in their respective constituencies ahead of 2019 elections.

This, according to sources, is creating tension in the party. The MPs have confided in Malawi News that all is not rosy in the party

They are accusing one of the party’s members, Ben Phiri, as being behind the move.

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The members argue that Phiri, who is widely known in the party as Field Marshall, is seriously destabilising the party.

“The shadow MPs, Phiri and other senior members of the party are endorsing are making our work in the constituencies very difficult. We are not happy with what is happening,” one MP from the Southern Region said.

Among the districts Phiri has been to are; Salima, Dedza, Mangochi and Lilongwe.

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But in an interview, Phiri dismissed the allegations against him.

“Why do people think that I am destabilising the party? Public meetings I conducted were in areas that are deemed not strongholds of the DPP. Why are they afraid?” Phiri said.

DPP spokesperson Francis Kasaila also played down the allegations.

“That is not true because he does not hold any position in the party. What I know is that some Members of Parliament have been complaining that they have competitors in the constituencies and that some leaders in the party are promoting some individuals to compete against them,” he said

According to Kasaila, the position of the party is that no party official is supporting any shadow MP. He added that it is inevitable to have shadow MPs.

“All I can ask from the Members of Parliament is to take issues about shadows as just a trick to destabilise them and that as politicians they should be able to handle that,” Kasaila said.

Political analyst Ernest Thindwa warned that if political leaders continue endorsing candidates for both parliamentary and local government elections, the country would again register a protest vote, come 2019 tripartite election.

Thindwa expressed doubts on allegations that some party officials in the DPP are endorsing candidates.

“This cannot be true because the person that has been mentioned has no position in the party. More powerful people in the party can put such things to a stop,” Thindwa said.

On endorsement of candidates, Thindwa said the move is not surprising as it has been a trend in as far as elections in the country are concerned.

“It’s widespread in Malawi for political parties to impose candidates, and it’s not new but what is worrying is that this could contribute to a protest vote come 2019,” Thindwa said.

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