The political popularity matters took the front seat in the Malawi media on Thursday as ruling Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) humiliating by-election defeat in five of six constituencies and wards to Malawi Congress Party (MCP) dominated both daily newspapers with commentators branding it a “vote of no confidence” for the regime which needs soul-searching.
“DPP loss, vote of no confidence- analysts”, was the headline in The Nation, which detailed the results of the by-election showing DPP’s only win was in Dedza Mayani ward for Nicholas Josiya a councillor but MCP were victorious by winning three parliamentary seats ; Sosten Gwengwe (Lilongwe Msozi North), Ulemu Msungama ( Lilongwe City South East) and Lawrence Sitolo (Nsanje Lalanje). The opposition party also won local government seats in Msiriza ward by Kingwell Zikaola and Thom Litchowa winning Ndirande Makata ward in Blantyre.
“This also paints a picture that during 2019 elections, it might be almost the same.So, parties have to work very hard to make sure that they achieve what people want,”the daily quoted Mzuzu-based political analyst Emily Mkamanga as saying.
Political analyst Augustine Magolowondo is also quoted in the paper saying that the results of the by-elections are a clear political barometer to the 2019 Tripartite Elections, saying it was significant victory for MCP and that the forthcoming polls will be “most competitive to watch.”
A political science associate professor at University of Malawi’s Chancellor College, Mustafa Hussein, said in quotes attributed to him that “the probability is high” that DPP will lose to MCP in the 2019 elections if the governing party will not live by its electoral promises it made in 2014 “and fix things”.
“Malawians have spoken,” the paper said in its title of the editorial comment.
In the comment, it said the results of the by-elections is “a clear statement” that some Malawians are frustrated with DPP.
“To say the least, Malawians are annoyed with the arrogance and impunity the DPP has portrayed over the three years it has been in power,” reads the comment.
The Nation editorial was similar to the tone of the the Daily Times on Wednesday which said citizens have spoken against DPP’S long course of ill-conduct – such s high-level corruption, nepotism, impunity, among others.
Both papers also cautioned MCP not to allow victory to be licence for them to be pompus and become complacent.
“Malawians have entrusted [MCP] with the votes which is merely a vote of no confidence in the DPP,” said The Nation comment, advising MCP to “consolidate the gains it has made.”
The paper emphatically stated that Malawians need to be told issues that could change their lives and not mere propaganda, decalring that “Malawians have indeed spoken.”
“DPP losing the plot – analysts,” was the headline in The Daily Times on Thursday, quoting several analysts and government spokesman Nicholous Dausi conceding defeat.
Another Chancellor College –based political professor Ernest Thindwa is quoted saying that the DPP tumble in the by elections “is not suprising,” saying the party’s performance “has not been very positive.”
Thindwa also noted that MCP made “strategic recruitments” such as the coming of Sidik Mia who marshalled the campaign in Nsanje Lalanje and Blantyre Makata Ward.
In his comments, in the papers, government spokesman Nicholous Dausi said they will do “soul searching” and correct where people say they are going wrong.
But Daily Times editorial comment on Thursday stressed that Malawians voting in the by elections have given DPP “a resounding vote of no confidence.”
It said the last thing the DPP can do is live in denial and go for revenge against people that have voted for MCP candidates by denying them development projects.
The day, dominated by news of by-elections, also saw headline on MCP celebrations on poll victory in the southern region.
According to the published report, MCP supporters celebrated Sitolo’s elction as MP in Nsanje Lalanje in an open-air partying.
Crippling unemployment, economic turmoil and corruption scandals in government led voters to punish the DPP in areas where MCP gained victories.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :