As campaign for 2019 tripartite elections draws closer in Malawi former first lady Calista Mutharika has said vice president Saulos Claus Chilima should be the presidential candidate for the ruling Democratic Progressive Party DPP.

Calista who is the in-law to President Professor Peter Mutharika surprised Malawians when she said the Malawi leader is too old to contest.

Various women groups backed Calista saying she is a courageous woman and a citizen of Malawi she has a choice.

However, Democratic Progressive Party Director of Operations Ben Phiri said Mutharika is the right person to contest as DPP presidential candidate.

Speaking at a press briefing in the capital city Lilongwe Phiri denied reports that he will contest as president in 2019 tripartite elections.

“I require a lot of political experience before contesting on that position,” Phiri said

He expressed confidence that DPP will win 2019 elections because the party has more support from various areas in the country.

Secretary General for Malawi’s ruling party Grezeider Geffrey asked Calista to stay out of politics.

Mutharika was married to former Malawi president the late Bingu Wa Mutharika who passed away in April 2012.