LILONGWE (Muchanakhwaye Khwepeya, Malawi NewsNow ) – Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) convention has been set for June this year but the much awaited game , of course, is whether there will be leadership battle for the presidency as President Peter Mutharika is under growing pressure from within his own party members to make way for a younger candidate.
Mutharika, who, in case you have forgotten, is 79-years-old. That’s old, and his top lieutenants – the men and women of DPP who have been by his side for the past years know it that “age matters” will be crucial in the next year’s Triaprtite Elections.
The President has insisted that he will contest again in 2019, but others in the DPP would like to see the likes of 45-year-old vice-president Saulos Chilima throw their hats into the ring too.
The choice of the party’s flag-bearer is made at the DPP convention, which the party secretary general Grezeldar Jeffrey said the exact date for the convention will be announced by the chairperson of the convention in due course.
Jeffrey said the convention will be held in Blantyre at a venue yet to be verified.
Should Mutharika get the nomination, he would have the power to choose his own running mate.
DPP last held its convection on April 17, 2013 with Peter Mutharika coming out as the party’s torch bearer for the 2014 elections after beating his only contender Henry Chimunthu Banda.
However, according to article 8, point 4 of the DPP convention, the party is expected to hold a National Political Conference (Convention) after every two years or an extra ordinary one in between at the request of the National Governing Council (NGC).
Article 8, point 4 of the DPP Constitution National stipulates that a National Political Conference shall consist of all members of the NGC, Regional Committee Members, District Committee Members and nine dully accredited delegates from each constituency drawn from the main committee, the Women’s Committee and the Youth Committee.
“Among the responsibilities, the conference shall review reports from the NGC and such other bodies as may be required on the progress and functions of the party. It shall also review and approve the policies and operations of the party and elect office holders to various positions in the party,” it reads.