President Lazarus Chakwera has said he is legally allowed to seek re-election and have a second term five year term but would not stand for a third term.
Chakwera said in a virtual interview with Voice of America Straight Talk Africa host Shaka Ssali that the constitution does not give him the right to seek a third term.
He was responding to a question from the journalists if he would be tempted to run for office again after 10 years in power – assuming he gets re-elected in the next polls.
“I will abide by what the [Malawi] Constitution says [on presidential term limits],” said Chakwera.
The Constitution allows a President to run for five years as first term and can seek re-election for a second and mandatory another five years term. But a President cannot seek a consecutive third term.
“There will be no third term or sad term for me,” said Chakwera.
“We must remember is; what the people want and people decides,” he added.
Put to him that some people may persuade him to elongate his stay in power, Chakwera said he would not entertain such temptations.
“No one is indispensable, nobody stays forever. Nobody is indispensable,” stressed Chakwera.
“I have learned to empower the power [and prepare succession]. Let’s not believe on that fallacy, nobody is indispensable,” said Chakwera –a cleric who served as Malawi Assemblies of God president before joining frontline politics in 2013.
In the run-up to June 23 presidential elections, State Vice-President Saulos Chilima is on record saying he would succeed Chakwera after his term expires in 2025 even though he would be allowed by the Constitution to seek fresh mandate.
In a public rally at Njamba Freedom Park in Blantyre, Chilima said he would be the alliance’s next presidential candidate after Chakwera in line with their rotational leadership arrangement.
But Chakwera in ‘Times Special’ television interview with Brian Banda [now his spokesperson] before the elections said: “That’s not true and nobody has said that.”
However, Chakwera’s whose Malawi Congress Party (MCP) is leading the nine-party Tonse Alliance led government has warmed up to as second term, in his assertions that he would abide by what the Constitution says.
Political commentator Emily Mkamanga has stated that the Tonse Alliance led government has started on a positive note with Cabinet ministers out and about working while the vice-President Chilima has put a stamp that the government will not tolerate laziness and theft.
“The President is frequently giving reports to Malawians. With such hard work the promises are likely to be achieved soon,” she pointed out.
Tonse Alliance comprises nine parties including support from human rights activist-turned-politician Timothy Mtambo who is leading Citizens for Transformation Movement and is serving in Chakwera’s Cabinet and Minister of Civic Education and National Unity.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :