United Democratic Front (UDF) president Atupele Muluzi has dismissed speculation that his party is having talks with the governing Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) for an electoral alliance in the May 21 2019 Tripartite Elections.
Muluzi, who is also Minister for Health and Population in President Peter Mutharika’s Cabinet, said when he addressed a rally in Mangochi-Malombe on Sunday that the speculations about alliance talks are an “imagination” by some propagandists using the media.
He said the propagandists have even set up fake Facebook accounts in his name “and written lies about our country, me and our UDF party. Don’t let this distract us all. We must remain focussed on what is right for Mangochi and for Malawi.”
His reaction followed social media speculation that DPP and UDF, currently in a working relationship in Parliament, would form an electoral alliance with Muluzi earmarked as Mutharika’s running mate.
Muluzi said his focus is strengthening UDF in readiness for the coming the elections.
“I love Malawi and I want to transform it. I have travelled my journey, amassing the experience needed to lead our country. With your support we can lead Malawi into the future,” said the 40-year-old politician.
The rally started with a whistle-stop tour that saw Muluzi accompanied by his wife Angella, who had travelled from Mzimba following the events of World AIDS Day on Saturday, attracting crowds up to Malombe the venue of the main rally.
Having struggled to get through the crowds in Mangochi Boma the rally started rather late, but it did not deter the thousands that had attended to listen to Atupele Muluzi as he discussed the UDF’s role in government and how open the 2019 elections is.
He highlighted that the UDF was the party that established multi party democracy that allowed for the very vibrant debate that the country is engaged in at the moment.
Atupele reiterated that the UDF is committed to maintaining its democratic history by ensuring that he is on the presidential ballot paper and that the UDF fields a full house of candidates in the Tripartite elections.
“We need UDF people to represent you all in the Councils and in Parliament, particularly women and the youth,” he said.
“The UDF holds unity, development and peace at the heart of its principles, these are also a hallmark of the people of Mangochi – I hope you will support us in 2019,” said Muluzi.
Muluzi also highlighted some of the development challenges that the East of the country continues to face and his continued commitment to resolving some of these issues.
“By working together, being honest and open about the challenges we face and offering real solutions for these challenges we can make a real difference. Where there are problems, please don’t expect someone else to resolve it for you, we must all make in an investment in our future,” he said.
Halipeso Malado of Mangochi commented that it was one of the largest turnouts for a political rally that he had seen in years.
He went on to say “we have been following the work of Atupele Muluzi and are very impressed with the progress that he has made in the Ministry of Health, particularly the availability of important medicines and investment in the health centre.”
University of Livingstonia (Unilia) political scientist George Phiri said DPP and UDF are likely to form an alliance because the two parties have lost popularity with the formation of the United Transformation Movement (UTM) led by Vice-President Saulos Chilima.
But both UDF spokesman Ken Ndanga and DPP publicity secretary Nicholas Dausi, said the two parties are not involved in any talks on the possibility of forming an electoral alliance.