Chakwera warned: “Don’t appoint Veep from MCP, you will completely ruin Tonse Alliance”

Political analysts in the country have been blunt towards President Lazarus Chakwera warning him not to appoint the next vice president from his Malawi Congress Party (MCP) saying the move will completely destroy the Tonse Alliance, eventually, complicating his chances for re-electing in the next years polls.

Tonse Alliance led government leader with President Chakwera,, vice president Saulos Chilima and leaders of seven other parties including former president Joyce Banda of PP and former vice president Khumbo Kachali of Freedom party after their summit at Kamuzu Palace

The Malawi leader, hence, has been advised to appoint the next vice president from outside MCP to cement relations with partners in the Tonse Alliance.

Political commentator, Wonderful Mkutche, says that the post should go to someone within the alliance to help secure its future.

“President Chakwera should consider someone who will consolidate the alliance. The alliance is now in shambles, and recent statements from the President have compromised even his image,” Mkutche said.

He warned that picking someone from MCP for the vice president post risks isolating the governing party ahead of the 2025 elections.

Mkhutche suggested that once UTM is sidelined, it will immediately turn to other options such as partnering opposition Democratic Progressive Party.

Chakwera is already racing against time to meet the deadline at or before which he must have appointed his deputy to replace Saulos Chilima, who died after a plane he was flying in crashed on Monday last week.

According to the Malawi Law Society (MLS), Chakwera is supposed to appoint the vice president by June 19 2024, which is Thursday.

However, with Monday declared a national holiday, it is unclear if it counts in the constitutional stipulations of days which should not be counted as part of the seven days within which a vice president is supposed to be appointed after a seat falls vacant.

Political analyst George Phiri said that while the next vice president has big shoes to fill, with Chilima having set standards “so high”, Chakwera must make the appointment with political wisdom.

“The person should be someone who can win the trust of Malawians. Some say the President has already shown preferences that seem to go against what the Tonse Alliance was meant for.

“If he believes that the government is primarily MCP, he will appoint someone from MCP. However, if he respects the 2020 election that put him in power, we expect him to appoint someone from the alliance,” Phiri said.

Another political analyst Chimwemwe Tsitsi urged Chakwera to ensure his pick is someone who will foster national unity and peace building in the aftermath of the tragic plane crash.

In terms of characteristics, he said the new vice president should be administratively capable and befitting the president-in-waiting tag.

“Although the person may not be from UTM, the main Tonse Alliance partner, they should be someone from any of the alliance partners or even a complete outsider who is capable of filling the vacancy.

“This could include a technocrat from the civil service or the private sector. Remember, Chilima was drawn from the private sector to become a vice president,” Tsitsi said.

In an interview yesterday, MLS president Patrick Mpaka reiterated that Chakwera has no later than tomorrow June 19 to appoint a new veep, according to law.

“In computing the seven-day period from the date of death to exclude any Sunday or public holiday…, it is expected that by and not later than June 19, 2024, the President should have appointed a person to replace the late Chilima in the constitutional office of a vice president,” Mpaka said.


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