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Atupele snubs UDF NEC’s endorsement, says it is contrary to democratic values

Former President for United Democratic Front (UDF) Atupele Muluzi has described his recent endorsement as UDF presidential candidate for the 2025 presidential elections as “undemocratic”.

Muluzi, a son to former Malawi president and UDF co-founder Bakili, made the reaction barely two days after party’s National Executive Committee (NEC) unanimously endorsed him for the top job.

In a statement posted on his official Facebook page, Muluzi said: “It is imperative to highlight that the idea of the UDF NEC endorsing me as a Presidential Candidate is contrary to democratic values.

“Such actions not only undermine the essence of democracy but also diminish the authority of political party elective conferences and the aspirations of other individuals seeking the presidential role. It is crucial that we uphold and promote intra-party democracy within our political organizations,”

He further said: “I made the decision to step down as President of UDF two years ago to ensure a fair and level playing field for all candidates vying for positions, including the presidency, at the UDF Convention in August 2024. As a firm believer in democracy, I stand by the principles that guide our political processes.”

Speaking at a rally on Sunday in Blantyre, UDF’s spokesperson Yusuf Mwawa slated that NEC agreed to back Muluzi’s candidacy at the upcoming party convention.

“We believe in his potential and wisdom, considering his impeccable record both within our party and at the national level,” said Mwawa as quoted by a local media.

Mwawa added that: “NEC agreed unanimously that when we go to the Party Convention, we must make Atupele Muluzi our presidential candidate for the 2025 elections,”

However, Mwawa clarified that the party would allow challenges to Muluzi’s candidacy, as the UDF values democratic principles.

“We will not prevent anyone from challenging Atupele’s candidature, as the UDF is a democratic party that values individual ambitions,” said Mwawa

In one of his messages the former UDF leader, Atupele who left the party to venture into business, said he is the only hope for Malawians.

Atupele was UDF candidate in the 2014 presidential elections where he came fourth and in the nullified 2019 presidential also lost.

In the 2020 fresh presidential elections, Muluzi was running mate to former President Peter Mutharika of the Democratic Progressive Party.

UDF, a prominent political party in Malawi, was founded in 1992 by former president Dr. Muluzi otherwise known as “Atcheya”.

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