Chakwera says MCP to consult widely on possible alliance: Pledges issue-based campaign

President of Malawi Congress Party (MCP) Dr Lazarus Chakwera has said his party will consult extensively on any possible electoral alliance in readiness for the 2014 tripartite polls.

Chakwera said he will also consult widely on the choice of his running mate.

“We will decide at how best to approach the elections,” said Chakwera on Zodiak radio interview aired on Wednesday.

Chakwera, former president of Assemblies of God elected at MCP convention last Saturday to be the party’s torch bearer, said any major decision of the party will be made after thorough consultations with the politburo and party members at different levels including other stakeholders.

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Chakwera also said the party will decide on what role to give to former president John Tembo.

“As a party we will be discussing that and together come with what we will do in respect to Honourable Tembo,” said Chakwera.

“He will continue to be Leader of Opposition in Parliament,” he noted.

University of Malawi political analyst Blessings Chinsinga fears giving Tembo a position in the party would likely create power confusion that can break it.

Journalist Pilirani Phiri asked Chakwera if he will stand politics of foul-mouthing which characterises the campaign season. He told Chakwera: “I think you have heard of the Uladi Mussas [of this world], they are ready to attack you.”

Responding, Chakwera said: “I don’t fear attacks.”

But he added:  “MCP is an issue-based party. We will tackle issues and issues of policies will be what will direct our campaign.

“We will not waste time to be distracted on the kind of politics you have described.”

Said Chakwera: “Right now people are looking for hope and I believe that hope is being seen in MCP. I believe we can deliver the way we sustain that hope.”

Asked between three presidential candidates- ruling PP’s Joyce Banda, UDF’s Atupele Muluzi and DPP’s Peter Mutharika – who he fears most, Chakwera said he was at ease with them all.

“If you ask my wife, it doesn’t matter what challenges I face. I have sound sleep every night.”

Chakwera said he has the vision and offers freshness to give Malawians in terms of leadership.

“Malawians are looking for leaders that serve. I want to be a servant of the people,” he said.

The MCP president pledged not to abuse power for personal self-enrichment.

“Malawians want a type of leadership that takes their concerns truly at heart.”

Chakwera also said he will advance principles of good governance that promote transparency and accountability.

He decried promotion of personal initiatives in the Office of the Presidency, saying he will implement reforms.

Pressed to comment on foreign policy and whether, as a faith based man he will accept donors to give conditions to aid with issues such as imposing gay rights, Chakwera invoked founding president Kamuzu Banda’s stand, quoting him: “ We are not pro- west or pro-east, we are pro Malawi.”

He also said Malawi will continue to work within the framework of SADC, African Union and advance MCP’s policy of “contact and dialogue”.

Chakwera backed the decision to engage Tanzania into diplomatic talks on issues of Lake Malawi border dispute.

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