Malawian vice-president Saulos Chilima has told the Voice of America (VOA) that the relationship of the future president and vice president could improve only after an amendment to the Republican Constitution to make the office of the veep not a delegated job.
Chilima said this on his final “private engagement” tour of the US.
The UTM party torchbearer in the May 21 elections said once elected into power, he would push for such an amendment so that the office of the vice president has its own Constitutional job instead of relying on the Head of State to give him a job.
“It is very difficult to have an office bearer whose mandate awaits the president yet the president and the vice president are elected on the same ticket and the vice president contributes a lot to the votes for them to win,” said Chilima.
There has been strenuous relationship between president Peter Mutharika and Chilima forcing the vice president to resign from the ruling Democratic Progressive Party (DPP), the party that sponsored him into power.
He is now leading UTM which has already gained political ground in the country although it is less than one-year-old.
“After the election, someone behaves as if he is more important than the other. We don’t want a president who starts abusing the office of the vice president especially when the vice president contributed a lot of votes during an election,” said the veep.
Alternatively, he said, the vice president should not be a running mate during an election, so that the president can appoint one once voted into power.
The Mutharika administration has been harassing Chilima by trimming his security detail and convoy but the courts have ruled in favour of Chilima.
The DPP led government also tried to block the registration of the UTM by giving flimsy excuses but the courts ruled in favour of registration of the party.