Malawi Congress Party (MCP) presidential candidate, Dr Lazarus Chakwera appeared upbeat of winning the May 21 presidential race when he and former president Joyce Banda on Monday confirmed an electoral alliance of MCP and People’s Party (PP).
Banda withdrew from the presidential race in the May 21 2019 Tripartite Elections and instead endorsed Chakwera of MCP.
Political analysts have pointed out that a possible coalition could prove a formidable force in the elections if the parties involved do proper ground work.
Chakwera said for the country to develop, there is need for all people, irrespective of political affiliations, to work together for the betterment of the nation.
He a pointed out that the task of uniting the nation under a common vision to “build a new Malawi “enjoyed by everyone cannot be accomplished if Banda and a million plus one supporters of her are not part of it.
Chakwera said government is so broken and the plight of its citizens is so desperate that lasting healing can only come if the cure is administered by more than one physician.
“Malawi is a patient in critical condition with multiple vital organs of the state failing, requiring emergency surgical procedures to be carried out by different hands working together in concert to stop her bleeding and alleviate her suffering,” said Chakwera.
The MCP-PP-Freedom Part flag bearer said Malawi is not in its current mess because MCP was in government for 30 years, or because UDF was in government for 10 years, or because PP was in government for 2 years, or because DPP has been in government for 13 years.
“Rather, Malawi is in crisis because each administration has tried to remove the government dysfunctions created under multiple administrations without getting all hands on deck.
“But the time has now come for us to accept two realities: first that each party in Malawi has contributed to the failing condition of the state and secondly, that each party in Malawi and each region in Malawi must be part of the solution and cure,” said Chakwera.
Chakwera said MCP-FP-PP alliance is not merely an electoral combination, but a nation-building alliance, committed to working together to create a capable democratic developmental state that is not at the mercy of the abuse and excess of a single party.
“This is the beginning of a long awaited national repentance, in which all of us take responsibility for stopping the bad we’ve done or starting the good we’ve neglected to do to our nation and each other,” he said.
The MCP and PP coalition comes just a month after Joyce Banda dumped UTM Party barely 48 hours after agreeing to work together in the run up to the elections.
However, Banda said her party has not signed any memorandum of understanding with UTM and that it has now agreed a “better deal” with MCP by signing a pact.
MCP president has been trying to broaden the appeal of a party that traditionally relied on the support of Central Region since he replaced John Zenus Ungapake Tembo.
The MCP has steadily grown and broadened its support base and making in roads in populous Southern Region since it welcomed Sidik Mia, now the party vice president.
Mutharika , 79, will be hoping to win back the support of DPP voters who switched to the UTM aftera breakaway of some of its key members. He is tipped as front runner for a second and final term as per the Constitution.
During the May 20 2014 Tripartite Elections, President Mutharika—standing on the DPP ticket with Saulos Chilima as his running mate on the ballot paper—won with 1 904 99 votes, representing 36.4 percent while Chakwera polled 27.8 percent, having amassed 1 455 880. Joyce Banda (PP), then an incumbent who had ascended to the presidency in line with constitutional order in April 2012, finished a distant third with 1 056 236 votes or 20.2 percent.
In terms of parliamentary representation, during the 2014 elections DPP won 50 seats, MCP 48, PP 26 and independents 52. Erstwhile governing UDF won 14 seats with Aford and the now-defunct Chipani Cha Pfuko getting one seat each.
But a recent survey conducted by the Zomba-based Institute of Public Opinion and Research (Ipor) between August and September this year has showed that DPP would have a slender edge over MCP if elections were held now while Chilima’s UTM—which was weeks old at the time of the survey—was rated third most popular ahead of next year’s elections.
Respondents to the study gave DPP 33 percent of the vote, MCP 31 percent and UTM 17 percent while PP got six percent rating.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :