Malawi will hold the first ever tripartite elections on 20th May 2014. Having held, read and observed the reactions of different people from different regions and districts, I have been compelled to draw up some conclusions basing on various assumptions.
The current cash gate and jet gate scandals will surely greatly bruise Peoples Party image. Most people seem to have started losing trust in the party leadership. My analysis though has given PP a benefit of doubt. Having all resources at their disposal, they are either number one or two across the country.
The summary below is on the assumption that all registered voters will be motivated enough to brave long queues and vote for their loved candidates.
|DISTRICT||NO OF REGISTERED VOTERS|| PP:
|Percent||MCP: CHAKWERA||PERCENT|| UDF:
|NR REGIONAL TOTAL||1,039,182.00||526,989.62||51||358,225.70||34||10,391.82||1||143,574.86||14|
|CR REGIONAL TOTAL||3,164,682.00||714,115.90||23||1,770,433.28||56||329,841.17||10||350,291.65||11|
|Mangochi Town Council||25,339.00||6,334.75||25||760.17||3||16,977.13||67||1,266.95||5|
|Zomba City Council||52,786.00||23,753.70||45||1,583.58||3||13,196.50||25||14,252.22||27|
|SR REGIONAL TOTAL||3,333,684.00||870,862.21||26||51,763.45||2||1,050,117.90||32||1,326,521.33||40|
RESULT = CHAKWERA IN NARROW WIN: VIVA MCP! Kwaaaaa…!!!!!!Chaaaaaaaaa!!
The final result has been reached at on the four major assumptions as follows:
UDF is not popular in the north even with the change in leadership, passage of time and two regimes of PP and DPP. However, its support remains strong in the YAO/Muslim belt. The party however will likely reclaim most of its parliamentary seats in its stronghold and probably increase from the current 17.
DPP supporters are mostly the swing vote (those who can analyze and vote based on issues). DPP lost its constituency beginning with Bingu’s loss of track and subsequent attempt to impose his brother. His death, subsequent revelations of mass accumulation of wealth and the silence or lack of clear policy direction under Bingu’s brother, Peter Mutharika has also made DPP lose its grip. The big question is to who? The majority likely have moved to MCP with a few to PP. DPP will be heavily bruised during the 20 May 2014 tripartite elections
PP has no solid power base unlike all the other parties. Being the incumbent defacto ruling party, it has not been able to inspire confidence among the electorate. However, with state machinery on its side including the state media, security organs and perhaps MEC, it is well positioned to perform better in the poll. Most importantly having more resources (including the public resources) for campaign, PP will emerge second across the country, making it a big contender for the polls. One thing that has to be added is that PP lost the deciding vote when it dumped khumbo Kachali. PP would have won above 80% of the northern region vote with KK as running mate. Gwengwe has actually reduced than add votes nationwide for PP. Not that he is a bad guy per say, but he lacks the political muscle in the central region that KK has in the north. Politics is also about image, there are a good number of the electorate who feel losing three party vice presidents (Mia, Kaka and KK) means the leader JB is a difficult person to work with and utmost ungrateful.
MCP is the most attractive party in town with the departure of JZU. Forget their use of the outdated slogan, the party has regained most of the “swing votes” in the central region due to the charisma and credibility of Lazarus Chakwera. The choice of Richard Msowoya, with a rigorous campaign, will sway the “already swinging north vote” to its side considering that Chakwera’s wife is also from the north. MCP has itself to lose the May 2014 tripartite election.
*Views expressed in this article are those of the author and not necessarily Nyasa Times.
Written by Patrick Jonathan Mwale
Formerly as Executive Director of COIDA