The United Democratic Front (UDF) says it still expects all its MPs, including two members of Malawi President Joyce Bandaâ€™s Cabinet, back to opposition benches in Parliament.
UDF secretary general (SG) Kennedy Makwangwala, in a follow-up interview on Sunday, said the party does not care about the fact that some are Cabinet ministers.
Said Makwangwala: â€œWe want them back to the opposition benches. We do not care how realistic this is. All we care about is that they are our MPs. This resolution was made by the national executive committee [NEC] and we expect them to respect that.â€
Makwangwala said he could not disclose what action the party will take if the decision is not respected, but said the concerned MPs have been communicated to in writing.
Earlier on Friday, Makwangwala told a news conference in Malawiâ€™s commercial city, Blantyre, that he had assurance from the MPs that they will return to the opposition benches, but hinted they were doubtful with Mangochi North MP Ibrahim Matola, who is Deputy Minister of Environment and Climate Change Management.
He claimed Matola was already wearing a ruling Peopleâ€™s Party (PP) badge and that UDF is monitoring the same.
Matola, who is on record as having said he is contemplating to ditch UDF when the initial pullout call was made, could not be reached on his cell phone on Sunday for his fresh reaction.
But in an earlier interview he said he was surprised the decision to move to the opposition benches was made without consultations among UDF MPs.
Matola, who until his appointment as a Cabinet minister in April this year, was leader of UDF in Parliament, said pulling out of government through Parliament would not help UDF in any way.
Both Matola and Machinga North East MP Atupele Muluzi, who is Minister of Economic Planning and Development, immediately rebuffed the partyâ€™s decision.
Atupele told a news conference in Malawiâ€™s capital, Lilongwe, this month that he does not think this is time for political ambitions, but time to build the country and move together.
Atupele, who earlier expressed presidential ambitions to lead UDF in 2014 elections, is on record to have said if his party would want him to take up the challenge, he would accept it.