Malawi’s opposition United Democratic Front (UDF) says its decision to dump the ruling party and relocate to opposition benches will help consolidate the opposition ahead of the 2014 polls.

This is the second relocation for the party which was in a makeshift alliance with the ruling People’s Party but the political marriage ended after UDF President Atupele Muluzi resigned from cabinet.

But 48 hours after the announcement, the party backtracked and announced that its lawmakers would maintain staying on the government side.

But in the latest U-turn spokesperson Ken Ndanga told Zodiak Online that since none of the party’s members are in cabinet it doesn’t make sense to be part of the government.

“Our position is that we no longer see it viable to remain on the government side,” Ndanga told Zodiak Online.

He said UDF went on the government side in Parliament when the Joyce Banda administration offered two ministerial positions to two of its members – Ibrahim Matola and Atupele Muluzi.

Matola later quit UDF to join the ruling party while Muluzi resigned.

“It has to be understood that we acted on the understanding that we had lost president Bingu wa Mutharika. It was an act of patriotism, but now things have changed,” said Ndanga.

Currently UDF has five lawmakers. The party ruled Malawi from 1994 to 2004.

The party won the 2004 elections but its presidential candidate the late President Bingu wa Mutharika resigned from the party a year later to form his Democratic Progressive Party, eventually making UDF an opposition party.

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