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Malawi Opposition not Weakened by Defections

Malawi President Joyce Banda reportedly told a British development official that her country would comply with an International Criminal Court warrant against Bashir, Sudanese leader. If he visits, Malawi he will be arrested, FILE January 20, 2012
The spokesman for Malawi’s main opposition -- the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) says the party is strong, and it is the future of the country.

This comes as President Joyce Banda remarked Friday that the resignations of both the DPP vice president and secretary general within one week were a sign of “failed leadership” in the party.

Former DPP Secretary General Wakuda Kamanga has since joined the ruling People’s Party (PP).

DPP Publicity Secretary Nicholas Dausi said the defections are not a sign of a weak opposition, but rather the DPP is going through what he called a political metamorphosis whereby its members are exercising their constitutional right of freedom of association.

“It’s a sign of failed leadership. I think we are going through a political metamorphosis where people are exercising their constitutional inherent right to freedom of association,” he said.

Dausi said the DPP is stronger in that it has almost 78 members of parliament, and the party is the only for the Malawian people.

President Joyce Banda said she has never seen, in her life, a vice president and secretary general of one political party resign within one week.
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Former DPP Secretary General Wakuda Kamanga has since joined the ruling People’s Party (PP).

President Banda called on the DPP to put its house in order by making policies that will retain its members.

Dausi said defections from political parties are not limited to the DPP.

“I don’t think it’s fair to say that we have a failed leadership. I don’t think that’s fair to say that our house is in disarray. In any case, so many members of parliament have left People’s Party to join DPP, to join the opposition. We haven’t said that is a sign of failed leadership. We feel if members of parliament are leaving People’s Party to join DPP, in our view, it is sign that we are strong and we are the only party that can be counted,” Dausi said.

He said multiparty democracy in Malawi during President Joyce Banda’s leadership is strong, but Dausi hopes the ruling party will not coerce opposition members to join the ruling party.

“The multiparty democracy, in our view as opposition is strong. We are only hoping that the government will not give so many incentives or will not coerce and create something that will make the opposition, namely its members to leave the party,” Dausi said.