Malawi Congress Party (MCP) president Lazarus Chakwera who leads the nine-party Tonse Alliance has said he is optimistic that the court-sanctioned fresh presidential elections set on Tuesday June 23 will usher in a new era for the country.
Chakwera is the main challenger of President Peter Mutharika who is seeking re-election in the historic elections.
“It is the people’s hope that this country will be turned around and face a new direction as we build the new Malawi, a Malawi that everybody can enjoy and everybody can have what they need because they have been empowered to become a productive nation,” he said in quotes reported by Deutsche Welle a German international broadcaster.
Malawi is struggling to fight poverty and corruption. It ranks 123 out of 189 on the Corruption Perceptions Index and 172 on the Human Development Index which analyzes inequality.
Chakwera said what is needed is a new style of leadership.
“Malawi is an impoverished nation. But it’s not a poor nation. … We need leadership which serves people rather than expects people to look up to them to be served,” he said.
The 65-year-old runner-up in last year’s annulled election had also finished second in the 2014 polls. His party, the Malawi Congress Party (MCP), ruled the country since independence from Britain in 1964 until 1994, mostly under a one-party system and dictatorship.
In a bid to maximise his chances of unseating the incumbent, Chakwera has joined forces with estranged vice-president Saulos Chilima, Mutharika’s former vice president who quit the DPP in 2018 to form UTM Party and run for the presidency.
Chakwera was ending his campaign at Masintha ground in the capital Lilongwe, one of the nine Central Region districts where MCP commands its greatest support.
About 6.8 million Malawians registered to vote in the election which the High Court sitting as a Constitutional Court on February 3 ordered to be held within 150 days after it nullified the May 21 2019 presidential election due to what it described as “widespread irregularities”.
The Malawi Supreme Court of Appeal upheld the ruling after President Peter Mutharika and the Malawi Electoral Commission (MEC)appealed to the higher court.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :