Chakwera in talks with Chilima, Joyce Banda: Malawi opposition parties seek electoral alliance

The main opposition Malawi Congress Party (MCP) president Lazarus Chakwera is courting the UTM party led by Vice-president Saulos Chilima and the People’s Party (PP) of former president Joyce Banda to discuss a possible electoral alliance to fight May 21 2019 Tripartite Elections against President Peter Mutharika and his governing Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) and its ally United Democratic Front (UDF).

Vice President Dr.Saulos Chilima with leader of opposition and  MCP president Lazarous Chakwera seek possible alliance

Mutharika, 78, is seeking a second and final term after winning the 2014 race against Banda, 68, whose PP is one of the opposition parties being courted by the leader of the opposition.

The test will be whether the alliance can agree on a single candidate before the watershed 2019 elections without splintering.

MCP spokesperson the Reverend Maurice Munthali confirmed that Chakwera has been having “discussions” with leaders of opposition parties including PP and UTM.

Munthali said the talks are yet to reach advanced stage.

“But, at this point, we cannot rule out a possible electoral partnership with one or both of these,” he said.

Munthali said MCP led by Chakwera stand for “national-building and not individualistic attitudes.”

MCP spokesman said the party will discuss the possible electoral partnership during its next National Executive Committee (NEC) meeting.

PP spokesman Ackson Kalaile Banda confirmed talks of electoral alliance, saying there are other parties being persuaded to band together.

Kalaile said PP executive meeting will also discuss the matter.

He said their leader Banda is currently out of the country on a tour in Rwanda and Kenya and that as soon as she return, PP will “hit the ground”.

UTM spokesman Joseph Chidanti Malunga said their newly registered party is preparing a national convention and that a route map for 2019 election will be drawn, saying “electoral alliances are always possible.”

But not everyone is convinced. Rather than providing voters with a real choice of an alternative government and a force to be reckoned with at the elections, the proposed alliance is a last-ditch effort by parties and personalities who have been bit-part players to avoid political oblivion, said some analysts interviewed.

Mutharika’s presidency has seen the economy grow at a steady 5 to 6 percent a year, with inflation slowing down to single digits but has faced criticism for not doing more to tackle corruption.

A survey by the Institute of Public Opinion and Research (Ipor)  conducted between August and September this year to assess the political environment in Malawi 10 months ahead of the May 2019 Tripartite Elections and give an understanding of the political and economic environment of the country has  suggested Mutharika is ahead, although narrowly.

However, voting in Malawi in the past has tended to be driven by tribal loyalties rather than policy.

The Ipor survey shows the DPP is likely to win the 2019 elections with a stronger base in the populous Southern Region, followed by MCP in the Central Region and then UTM in the minority Northern Region.

Governance commentator Henry Chingaipe said the survey results were within the reasonable expectation of the electoral outcomes.

He said DPP has the advantage of incumbency while MCP is a serious contender but the margin between them was small and anything can happen in the next six months, depending on how parties will use these results to inform their electoral campaign strategies.

“The results give momentary relief to DPP that despite their integrity being spoiled too much and their performance being suboptimal, they still have an edge. Given recent political discourse, one would have expected the urban support for DPP to go down sharply,” he said in quotes reported by the press.

Chingaipe said UTM was a force to reckon with considering that they have been able to mobilise more support than UDF and PP.

The survey had a national representative final sample of 1 350 of eligible voters and was led by social and political scientists Blessings Chinsinga, Boniface Dulani, Joseph Chunga and Mwayi Masumbu.

The build-up to next year’s vote has already been marred by political violence perpetrated against the opposition and vote rigging fears following the missing of a biometric registration kit.

However, MEC Chairperson Jane Ansah said the missing equipment, which belonged to the National Registration Bureau (NRB) had no effect on the registration process and that there was no data loss.

Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :

Please share this Article if you like Email This Post Email This Post

More From the World

newest oldest most voted
Notify of
Selfish fool
Guest

They have started jittering with the current survey. Interestingly the selfish greedy fools are in full support of the alliance. Malawians be more careful. Understand what you as a person want to achieve in life and study the characters of each leader and then make a sound decision. Enawatu are in full support of Chilima because akufuna azidzaphangira ndiye mudzalira.

The End of MCP
Guest

This guy is now destroying the once mighty MCP for selfish reasons. Mind you if really their alliance works and by chance wins, with all the constitutional rights on the VP, I can see a troubled administration towards 2024 and use of juju to terminate some 1. These other guys are not trustworthy. If they will fail Chakwera will be finished.

Bob
Guest
Bob

Whether coalition or not. What’s important is to sell a good manifesto to Malawians and intensify campaign bearing in mind that its first past the post mode of winning.

Adada maluwa
Guest

As some are speculating that UTM is a DPP initiative to woe supporters from /weaken MCP, this might also be an MCPs’ vias versa plan to weaken UTM

Vote ndi muntima
Guest
Vote ndi muntima

My vote will depend on who I want to be my First Lady basi……… Sindinatchule dzina ndangonena maganizo anga

Shame
Guest
Shame

There is no workable alliance……… It’s every man for themselves, just work your talis off and whoever works hard will be the winner
Basi ……. Nkhani yatha!

Napoleon muza
Guest

Wow! I wonder if this will yield any fruits. Who will sacrifice to be the Vice in this alliance. MCP has more strength in the central therefore can bargain for the presidency, but Chilima will not allow to be Vice again as he want to be president . How will other positions be shared, I can see a dead end. Will utm supporters accept Joyce Banda to be running mate to Chilima? Will those who want to be running mate of Chilima agree, knowing their chances will be blown away.

Lilian Kaunda
Guest
Lilian Kaunda

Such an alliance will not be possible because all the leaders have bigger egos and on top of that no one will accept to be running mate because most of them have been frustrated or in case of Joyce Banda she was frustrated and she also frustrated Khumbo. A true alliance is not formed on the shifting sands of illusion and opportunism.

mathona
Guest
mathona

My advice to MCP is that this UTM ndi plan ya Peter and Saulos to disturb MCP. They new kuti they have lost grounds after by elections. Akutatsani nthawi kupereka mpati kwa Peter. Akupita UTM Wa anali a DPP nkale. Enafe we are the to MCP cause of mask mphenya anu. Take a serious research. Find the funding for UTM

Patrick Mbewe
Guest
Patrick Mbewe

A Kunkuyu mfundo zanu zopusa ziija mwabwera nazo Ku ma comment mu chigoba? Iwe ndiye Kaya basi?

SUPER NATURAL MIRACLES
Guest
SUPER NATURAL MIRACLES

DEAR OPPOSITION LEADERS — IF YOUR COMMON GOAL IS TO RESCUE MOTHER MALAWI FROM THESE MONSTERS ( DPP FIELD MARSHALS ) PLEASE COME UP WITH A WORKABLE ALLIANCE — BUT IF YOU HAVE SELFISH AGENDAS/AMBITIONS IN YOUR HEARTS — MALAWI WILL SUFFER LIKE NEVER BEFORE IN HUMAN HISTORY — PLEASE RESCUE MOTHER MALAWI FOR THE SAKE OF OUR CHILDREN AND THE LESS PRIVILEGED — GOD BLESS OUR LAND !

More From Nyasatimes