The United Democratic Front (UDF) on Monday held a closed door meeting to sort out emerging issues related to the fall of its three sitting members of Parliament (MPs) during primary elections held on Saturday.
The three are among 17 UDF sitting MPs concentrated in Machinga, Balaka and Mangochi districts in the Eastern Region, home to the party’s president Atupele Muluzi.
Incumbent MPs Aufi Yaumi Mpaweni of Balaka Central Constituency and Mwalone Jangiya of Machinga Likwenu Constituency lost the primary elections, according to party sources whereas Shaibu Kaliati of Machinga Central Constituency was reportedly disqualified for allegedly tampering with the electoral process.
The development has shaken the party which on Monday called for a meeting to hear the complaints from the losers.
Opposition UDF publicity secretary Ken Ndanga confirmed the meeting, but would not divulge further information on whether the secretariat intended to order a rerun.
He said: “We can’t, they lost. There are issues the party is trying to sort out. There is a lot of conflicting information coming in but I cannot competently comment because I have not attended the meeting. I am waiting for the secretary general’s official report.”
But official sources told The Nation that Mpaweni lost to Chifundo Makande whereas Jangiya was beaten by David Lali.
A party source indicated that some party officials are trying to overturn the results in favour of the sitting MPs.
“This will bleed chaos and we are likely to divide the vote which will not favour our presidential candidate Honourable Atupele Muluzi,” said the source.
UDF, formed in 1992, has recently lost its clout as a political party in Malawi founded at the dawn of plural politics.
It has swiftly drifted from being a party in power between 1994 and 2004 to an opposition entity, winning 49 seats out of 193 seats in Parliament in 2004 and only 17 seats in 2009.