An opposition alliance consisting of four political parties namely UTM Party, Peoples Party (PP), Alliance for Democracy (Aford) and Tikonze Progressive Party has been formed and will name its torch bearer on Monday in the capital Lilongwe.
A joint statement issued by the parties made available to Nyasa Times on Friday comes barely 24 hours after Vice President and UTM Party president Saulos Chilima announced at a news conference in Lilongwe on Wednesday that his party was in talks with other opposition parties for a possible electoral alliance.
“We, the members of UTM, People’s Party (‘PP’), Alliance for Democracy (‘AFORD’) and Tikonze Progressive Movement (‘TPM’), (hereinafter ‘the Parties’) acting through our duly elected leaders; Hereby announce the formation of an electoral alliance between the Parties for the purposes of contesting in the May 2019 Tripartite Elections,” reads the statement in part.
“The parties have agreed to support one presidential candidate who shall be announced on Monday, 4thFebruary, 2019 at Bingu International Conference Centre at 9:30am,” adds the statement signed by UTM President Saulos Chilima, former president and PP leader Joyce Banda, Aford president Enock Chihana and Tikonze movement interim vice president Mark Katsonga.
The parties said they decided to go into an electoral alliance after appreciating the undoubted importance of unity among all Malawians, irrespective of political persuasions, to the attainment of this country’s development goals and recognizing that cooperation between well-meaning and unselfish Malawians sharing common political ideologies and interests is indispensable and in the interests of ordinary Malawians.
The parties also said another reason for the electoral alliance is that they realized that there is a groundswell for support united front among Malawians discontented with the sad state of affairs in this country.
“Further details of the electoral alliance shall be announced at the aforesaid press conference which shall be addressed by the undersigned leaders of the Parties,” concludes the statement.
Political commentators have hailed the move taken by the four parties saying this is the only way that would defeat the ruling Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) in the May 21 tripartite elections.
They say the alliance will bring together “different lifestyles and political opinions” under democratic principles for sustainable development in Malawi.