Malawi Congress Party (MCP) has opted Catherine Gotani Hara, Mzimba North East legislator for the speaker of parliament.

This follows a lobbying by women activists for the country to have a woman as head of one arm of government – the legislature.

MCP are also backing Nancy Tembo, who won as an independent, to be First Deputy Speaker.

While sources in Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) have said that former first deputy speaker Esther Mcheka Chilenje will be favourite to be the candidate. Another name sounded is that of Bright Msaka.

UTM Party and PP said they will vote for a capable candidate regardless of political affiliation.

PP spokesperson Ackson Kalaile Banda said his party, which was in an electoral alliance with MCP, will support a candidate fit for the job.

He said: “We are going to support a candidate that has dignity and ready to govern in a mature way.”

UTM Party director of publicity Joseph Chidanti Malunga agreed with Banda, saying: “Gone are the times that we should be electing a Speaker based on party. We should look at capability.”

Commentators say as the House elects a Speaker this coming week, let merit and levelheadedness, not benefits and self-enrichment be the guiding principles.

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