Joyce Banda withdraws from presidential race, endorses Chakwera: PP in alliance with MCP

Former president Joyce Banda has withdrawn from presidential race for the May 21 2019 elections after her People’s Party  (PP) formed an electoral alliance with Malawi Congress Party (MCP)  to take on the ruling party, a joint statement said Thursday.

Joyce Banda and her running mate Jerry Jana: Candidature withdrawn
MCP-PP alliance sealed

The announcement comes after Nyasa Times earlier reported that PP national executive committee (NEC) members were meeting at the residence Banda to discuss a possible electoral combination with MCP  to compete as one force in the coming elections.

At an imprompt joint news conference held at Crossroads Hotel in Lilongwe,  PP secretary general Ibrahim Matola and his MCP counterpeart Eisenhower Mkaka,  it was  announced that Banda has pulled out of 2019  presidential race with her running mate Dr Jerry Jana.

“This is a decision that was taken by the People’s Party national executive committee,” said Matola, reading a brief statement.

Matola said  Banda is also announcing her endorsement of the candidature of MCP presidential torch bearer Lazarous Chakwera.

“The People’s Party fully supports Her Excellency Dr Joyce Banda’s decision,” said Matola.

Matola said the decision has been  reached “ after having Malawi’s greater common good.”

He said: “Malawi is bigger than individuals. As such we all have to set aside individual aspirations and emrace the greater and common good.”

Matola said the discussions between MCP and PP started as far back as 2015 while Banda was still in United States of America.

He said the details of the endorsement will be announced once Chakwera returns from overseas.

Nyasa Times understands Chakwera and Banda will hold a joint news conference on Saturday.

During the news  conference MCP Secretary General Mkaka read the same statement in Chichewa.

Mkaka said he was happy with the development.

Banda has maintained that opposition parties should select a joint candidate in this year’s presidential election to unseat President Peter Mutharika and his Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) and that she would be ready to “turn the page” and let a formidable candidate lead  so she can spend the campaign period supporting candidates and propelling the presidential flagbearer.

Byond elections, Banda, who served as Malawi’s first female president from 2012 to 2014, would like to continue her lifetime mission of transformaing lives of rural communities.

With the MCP-PP alliance and combination of Freedom Party of former vice president Khumbi Kachali, it  could pose the most credible challenge to President Mutharika, the flag bearer of the ruling DPP.

Banda ‘s PP  can make a strong showing in the northern and eastern regions, while MCP has support in central region stronghold and now southern Lower Shire with its running mate Sidik Mia .

New party UTM of Chilima has never been politically tested despite having high profile personalities in his party.

Political commentators say political coalitions must be for Malawi’s, pointing out that votes on May 21 2019  are likely to be fragmented with no real majority winner.

Zomba-based Institute of Public Opinion and Research (Ipor)  in a survey between August and September 2018 indicated DPP is poised to take 33 percent of the votes, followed by MCP with 31 percent and UTM Party with 28 percent and PP trailing a distant six percent.

It therefore makes sense that opposition parties aiming to unseat the current government opt for an alliance as PP would boost MCP numbers to cross the line. Former vice president Khumbo Kachali and his Freedom Party are already in support of MCP presidential ticket.

University of Malawi’s Chancellor College-based political commentator Ernest Thindwa has observed that opposition parties “stand better to benefit a lot from an electoral coalition.”

Social commentator Stanley Onjezani Kenani  is on record to have posted on Facebook: “I think the former president, Mrs Joyce Banda, is the only voice of reason in a crowded opposition field. She says she is open to the idea of a coalition. She does not mind who leads it. The truth is, the murderous DPP can only be defeated if the opposition rallies behind one candidate. But egos the size of Kilimanjaro will, once again, hand victory to thieves.”

Malawi, one of the world’s poorest and most aid-dependent countries, will hold presidential, parliamentary and local council elections on May 21.

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Nyatwa
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Nyatwa

The flood gates to CASHGATE are now wide open should MCP win Especially if Roy Kachale Banda will be strategically chosen as Minister of Finance

Chifundo
Guest
Chifundo

Despicable and opportunistic behaviour. All these politicians are the same. What do you expect from recycled material

Nyatwa
Guest
Nyatwa

The locks to the CASHGATE will be open again!!!!

Sanza
Guest
Sanza

MCP you have lost more than you have gained…… Mr Chakwera you have lost your moral standing and integrity. How do you now speak up against CASHGATE, how can you speak against corruption now??

Gust
Guest
Gust

Oh Oh, Dr Jerry Jana this woman fooled you,…….. you were a running minute for a quick 2 seconds,,………. kikikikikikiki

Njolo mpilu
Guest
Njolo mpilu

Can this jb piss off with her undecided motives pls! Or she just wanted a home backfrom her self exiled issue! .such an old cabbage looking woman.
No your idiot son either pls.
Go home and continue serving the free tea to your pipo kumudzi.mxiii
You are boring

zako
Guest
zako

A Chakwera mwagulitsa MCP ! Kamuzu must be rolling in his grave!

Tidyenawp
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Tidyenawp

Mwamuona bwanji hule uyo!

Tidyenawp
Guest
Tidyenawp

JB , Khumbo Kachali,, Sidik Mia, Sosten Gwengwe, Kunkuyu, Zikhale Ng’oma, Catherine Gotani Hara……… MCP is now PP2 recycled!

Afinye
Guest
Afinye

Chipani cha kupha, cha nkhanza ndi Chipani Chakuba zagwirizana…..A Malawi Tiri pa moto!