Malawi Congress Party (MCP) first vice president Richard Msowoya will battle it out with former chairperson of the Budget and Finance committee of Parliament for the most coveted seat of Speaker when the August House meets at 2pm.
The Speaker, who replaces Henry Chimunthu Banda, will be elected by a majority of the House in a secret ballot.
Members of Parliament that are expected to vote for the position are 14 from United Democratic Front, 26 from Peoples Party, 52 independents, 49 from Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) and 48 from MCP, one from Alliance for Democracy and one from Chipani Cha Pfuko.
MCP endorsed Msowoya as their candidate at their caucus on Sunday evening while DPP endorsed Kasaila, an MP for Nsanje Central who retained his seat during the May 20 tripartite elections, as confirmed by the party’s interim spokesperson George Chaponda.
As Budget and Finance Committee chair in the last meeting of Parliament, Kasaila was very vocal in castigating the dubious sale of the presidential jet by the Peoples Party (PP) government.
Kasaila has also served as deputy Minister of Transport soon after DPP was re-elected into power in 2009.
Msowoya, on the other hand, served as a deputy minister of Education prior to 2009 but lost his Karonga Nyungwe seat before he regained it in this year’s election.
The holder of a Masters Degree in Supply Chain Management, Msowoya was also running mate to MCP presidential candidate Lazarus Chakwera which further elevated his status on the political arena.
The contest for the position of Speaker remains between DPP which garnered 50 seats in the just ended election and MCP which won 48 seats.
The decider of who gets the post is expected to be independent Members of Parliament, who total 52 as they could swing either way.
Lobbying for the position has been rife among the members but it remains unclear which way political parties with low numbers in Parliament such as UDF which has 14 seats and PP which as 26 will swing its vote.