State vice-president and UTM leader Saulos Chilima says talks with the Malawi Congress Party (MCP) are in progress, saying there is a team working on the alliance options.
The UTM president said this on Tuesday as political analysts have proposed an electoral alliance between Chilima and MCP presidential hopeful Lazarus Chakwera as a combined presidential ticket.
“Yes, MCP and UTM are talking for a possible alliance. There is a team exclusively working on that. The team will report back. We will make our position and communicate to Malawians in a few week’s time,” Chilima said in interview on Zodiak TV that streamed live online as well live updates on Chilima’s Twitter handle.
He said the UTM party would get into an alliance with anybody.
However, throughout the interview hosted by Joab Chakhaza, Chilima maintained that the issue of leadership should not dominate the discussion but rather what to do with the alliance.
“The first step is to find the kind of a desired state that we want and achieve. Then from there we say who should be in the driving seat for the alliance. I am not desperate for a position. My motivation is to ensure that the mission to rescue Malawi is accomplished,” he said .
Chilima continued: “This entails an alliance that has a tangible plan with capable leaders to implement. Whether it is me or someone else, the job must be done. I will be a happy man. It is not about positions but knowing what to do.”
He said UTM want to engage on what would be a good alliance, saying there was need to think about the desired state of the country.
“There has to be a semblance of convergence of our manifestos. If not, the alliance will collapse,” Chilima said.
He said if UTM fail to get into meaningful alliance, the party will go it alone.
“We are giving alliances a chance. But if nothing comes up we will go it alone.
“As UTM we stand a chance if we work very well. We are a good organization well represented across the country,” Chilima said.
He said the party will agree to on alliance on the basis of national unity.
Chilima said UTM and MCP need to engage very deeply about how they want to move.
“I am not looking for perfect situation. But we don’t want to get into a situation where an alliance creates voter apathy.
“Leadership is not a determining factor as we explore alliances. I want to go into an alliance with motivation to address issues affecting Malawians. It is not so much about me. It is about how we deliver change. If the alliance decides that moving forward should mean I take the lead, so be it. If not, that’s also fine,” he said.
He said UTM will have to advise whether he takes a position in an alliance or not.
Commenting on the alliance between the ruling Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) and the United Democratic Front (UDF), Chilima said it is a welcome development as it is the expression of freedom of association.
“It is part of democracy. It is their right to associate,” he said.
Chilima said he had chatted informally with the UDF president Atupele Muluzi on the possibility of UTM/UDF alliance formation but said the talks were not formal.
Electoral alliances or coalition have become the buzz words in the run-up to the country’s fist ever fresh presidential elections proposed for May 19 2020 in line with February 3 Constitutional Court order following the nullification of last year’s polls.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :