DPP interim president Peter Mutharika on Sunday announced the party will hold its national conference in December when all positions will be open for competition.
Mutharika made the announcement at the partyâ€™s fifth rally after the death of its founder, Bingu wa Mutharika in April 2012, held at Njamba Freedom Park in Malawiâ€™s commercial city, Blantyre. During the meeting, he also outlined DPPâ€™s plans to be presented at the convention.
In his 20-minute speech, he asked the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) supporters to remain loyal because he is hopeful the party will win the 2014 general elections.
He said DPP will have an Economic Advisory Council to help advise the State president on economic issues.
â€œIt is one to be a president and it is another thing to know how to run a country,â€ said Mutharika, attracting applause from supporters that filled up the venue.
He promised that the party will maintain the Farm Input Subsidy Programme (Fisp) and continue giving free antiretroviral drugs to people living with HIV and Aids.
Sangala rejoins DPP
Earlier, Blantyre Malabada MP Aaron Sangala and former Minister of Internal Affairs and Public Security apologised to DPP leadership for defecting to President Joyce Bandaâ€™s Peopleâ€™s Party (PP).
Mutharika said he is happy Sangala has rejoined the party, but said there is no reason for apologising.
The DPP leader claimed more MPs are expected back to DPP in Parliament which starts sitting this Monday where the issue of Section 65 is expected back in the august House.
Mwanza West MP Paul Chibingu, who is also leader of DPP backbenchers in Parliament, said the party is worried that no coupons for Fisp beneficiaries have been distributed despite the onset of rains in some parts of the country.
â€˜Chasowa arrestsâ€™ an intimidationâ€™
DPP regional governor (South) Noel Masangwi and director for youth Lewis Ngalande also spoke at the rally and alleged that their arrest in connection with the murder of Polytechnic student Robert Chasowa is meant to intimidate them.
The two who are on court bail deny the murder charge.
The rally was attended by a cross section of DPP leaders, including vice-president Dr. Jean Kalilani, Dr. Hetherwick Ntaba, Dr. George Chaponda, Harry Thomson, Dr. Allan Chiyembekeza, Francis Mphepo, Henry Mussa, Patricia Kaliati and several MPs.
In the morning, DPP went to town in trucks and lorries blasting music and dancing which attracted several by-standers in Blantyre CBD. Mutharika himself arrived in a motorcade almost similar to the one used by the State President, replete with black Land Rovers with men in black suits and dark glasses standing on the sidesteps.