The Kennedy Makwangwala UDF camp that supported presidential aspirations of new Economic Planning Minister Atupele Muluzi on Monday said UDF will not face the 2014 presidential elections without a candidate.
Makwangwala, who is UDF secretary general, told a news conference in Blantyre on Monday that despite the partyâ€™s decision to allow two of its legislators to be roped in President Joyce Bandaâ€™s Cabinet, the party will not make a mistake again to go to polls without a presidential candidate.
President Banda, who ascended to power on April 7 following the death of Bingu wa Mutharika, appointed Muluzi as Economic Planning Minister and Ibrahim Matola as Deputy Environment and Climate Change Minister and some MPs from other political parties as well.
But Makwangwala told journalists the party remains intact and will go ahead with plans to contest the 2014 parliamentary and presidential elections. He said the party is planning to hold a convention between September and November this year.
Meanwhile, the party has appointed Mangochi Central legislator Dr Clement Chiwaya as its leader in the House, replacing Matola.
UDF deputy publicity secretary Ken Ndanga said the party has so far resolved to continue being on the opposition side in Parliament; hence, the new positions.
According to Ndanga, Machinga South MP Harry Kamba has replaced Muluzi whereas Mangochi Nkunguluâ€™s Mahamudu Lali is the new party whip. His deputy is Machinga Central Eastâ€™s Ernest Yahaya.
Another UDF member who has been roped into government is Nkhotakota South MP Cassim Chilumpha, but his official position in the House was independent MP.
In a separate interview, Chiwaya said the MPs are yet to decide whether to maintain their positions in the opposition benches or join the government benches.
“We have not yet come to an agreement on that. At the moment as MPs we do not understand the working modalities with our colleagues [Peopleâ€™s Party). There is need for the two parties to sit down and discuss how we are going to work,” said Chiwaya.