United Democratic Front (UDF) first vice-president Iqbar Omar has quit the party on personal grounds, according to spokesperson Ken Ndanga.
Confirming the development, Ndanga said: “We had an executive meeting yesterday [Saturday] in Lilongwe where he [Omar] made the announcement.
“He [Omar] told the meeting that he had resigned due to personal reasons and the party president, Right Honourable Atupele Muluzi, accepted his resignation.”
Ndanga dismissed suggestions that Omar’s resignation is a sign that UDF, the first party to govern the country in the multiparty era from 1994 to 2005, is on the decline since Atupele joined President Peter Mutharika’s Cabinet as Minister of Natural Resources, Energy and Mining.
He said Omar, a businessperson in Lilongwe, had always wanted to leave the party, but that it was just a matter of time that he would do it.
“As you might be aware, we are rebuilding the party and we want people that are dedicated and committed to the party. Honourable Omar’s departure has not affected the party in any way because there are a number of people in the Central Region who are ready and willing to serve in his place,” said Ndanga.
In recent general elections, notably 2009 and 2014, UDF’s strength in terms of members of Parliament (MPs) has been declining. Currently, the party has 14 MPs.