I’m not automatic candidate for 2019 – Joyce Banda

Malawi’s immediate former president Joyce Banda has said she cannot claim to be an automatic candidate for her People’s Party (PP)in 2019 presidential elections, saying the party will decide in 2017 democratic convention in which she wants to contest.

Banda’s stand is  is in sharp contrast to President Peter Mutharika  who has declared himself a Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) candidate for the 2019 elections and that “there will be no Plan B”.

The former president  is quoted in the  Weekend Nation that she had  a five-year mandate to lead PP after being elected as the convention two years ago and will seek to renew the mandate in 2017.

Joyce Banda received 51 percent approval rating

Joyce Banda: Currently running her welfare campaign of helping the poor

“ In 2017, we will go for elections. In a democratic institution like ours, the party decides its torch-bearer. They might say Joyce Banda is old; we want somebody younger. They might say Joyce Banda is a right candidate. But that is not my decision,” said Banda as quoted by the paper in an exclusive interview.

Banda—who said is currently running her welfare campaign of helping the poor—added that she will not stop reaching out to the helpless, according to the paper.

Stateswoman

According to quotes attributed to her, the former president sounded her usual stateswoman when she called on Malawians to support the sitting President.

“There is a new president in the State House [Peter Mutharika]. I respect that President; we all must support that president for the benefit of Malawians,” she said.

University of Malawi’s Chancellor College political scientist Joseph Chunga  hsa said Banda should not be written off “given her grass roots connections and the record of the ruling party’s dismal performance, Banda cannot be ruled out.”

Chunga said Mutharika’s nepotism and other parties weakening may play an advantage status to Banda.

“In Africa, opposition always stands a chance because of how ruling parties perform while in office. Though her two years in office might prove disadvantageous to her, but with time, especially if the current government continues to be nepotistic as it has started, and the weakening of the United Democratic Front (UDF), she might be an alternative,” said Chunga as quoted by the weekly.

“Elections are about comparative analysis; you never know, perhaps, she might turn out to be a lesser evil in 2019,” said Chunga.

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