Former ruling Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) is set to ask speaker of parliament to make a ruling on whether John Tembo should be recognized as leader of parliament in the national assembly.
This follows change of political events in the past month since the death of late president Bingu wa Mutharika in April, a development that saw the former ruling party descending to opposition benches as the then vice president Joyce Banda had formed her people’s Party (PP) so she took with it into the government after she ascended to power.
It is this sudden change of events that has prompted the DPP to ask speaker Henry Chimunthu Banda to decide on whether Malawi Congress Party (MCP) is still the largest political bloc in the August House.
Automatically, leader of the party that comes second in terms of parliamentary seats during polls is supposed to be leader of opposition.
Meanwhile, now that the DPP has lost its clout as ruling party, analysts say the party will leave no stone unturned in a bid to salvage the leader of opposition portfolio in order to save face.
But speaking in an interview DPP Secretary General Wakuda Kamanga said the party has no personal grudge against Tembo rather it is following democratic principles that are enshrined in the constitution.
“DPP is now the largest party in opposition as such its leader is supposed to be the leader of opposition, that is simple logic because right now hon. Tembo is holding that position illegally as his MCP party is no longer the largest opposition party in parliament,” argued Kamanga.
On his part, Tembo refused to comment on the issue when called but his close allies have said on more than one occasion that the party will not go down without putting up stiffer resistance.
“We’re aware of DPP’s intentions to coronate Peter Mutharika as leader of opposition but that will not happen because as MCP we won’t sit down and watch a disgruntled party coming from wherever it was to seize leadership of parliament,” contended a senior MCP official who is close to Tembo.
If the decision by DPP comes to pass then it will be a contradiction of what it said through its vice president Goodall Gondwe who told media recently that his party will not push for removal of Tembo as opposition leader.