Main opposition Malawi Congress Party (MCP) and UTM Party have h dismissed a report by United Kingdom-based Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU) , hinting that incumbent President Peter Mutharika and his Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) would win the May 21 2019 elections.
MCP secretary general Elsenhower Mkasa said predictions by EIU lacked credibility while UTM spokesperson Dr Joseph Chidanti Malunga trashed the report saying the UK based organization has no clue on what is going on the ground
Mkaka said the EIU has often wrongly predicted several elections, which he said undermines the prediction of Mutharika’s alleged victory in the upcoming vote.
“Economist Intelligence Unit is notorious for cooking up surveys. They have missed a number of time. They can’t be trusted,” said Mkaka.
Apparently, he was referring to the report the run-up to the May 20 2014 Tripartite Elections, when the EIU wrongly predicted a victory for then president Joyce Banda who was voted out after finishing a distant third in both presidential and parliamentary races.
EIU is a member of The Economist Group.
Mkaka said the country’s oldest political party is on its way to form government for the first time since losing the first post-independence multiparty elections in 1994.
He said in the age saturated by data and opinion polls, most people know, surely, not to take the results of any one survey too seriously.
In a separate interview with Nyasa Times, UTM’s spokesman said Malawian voters should not be swayed by rogue polls that use unreliable methods, statistical outliers that reflect random-sampling errors.
Malunga said: “This is the problem of writing reports while you are sitting in your poshy office in London. If these guys were on the ground they would know that Mutharika is on his way out.”
He added: “In fact even DPP themselves were shocked that the report said their leader was going to win the elections because they know the truth that they are going out of government and what they are doing now is waiting for the time while they put a brave face.”
Malunga said if EIU were to come to Malawi and talk to the voters on the ground, they would not have produced a report declaring that Mutharika will win the elections.
” We are confident that our presidential candidate Dr Saulos Chilima win these elections fair and square because this is what is on the ground, ” said Chidanti.
“We have and we are still delivering our messages to the peope and the response has been great. We are winning these elections, ” declared Chidanti.
“But we know that EIU produces similar reports in the same manner. Every election time they produce a report which supports the incumbent president.
“Last elections they predicted that Joyce Banda was going to win the elections but she ended up coming a distant third. It is like these guys have a template which they just take and insert the names whenever there is an election coming,” said Chidanti.
Former Attorney General Ralph Kasambara also wrote on Facebook to dismiss the EIU report.
“The so called report paraded on Nyasa Times, Malawi24 and MBC, etc was actually released last year January 2018,” Kasambara wrote.
A University of Malawi political analyst Dr Mustafa Hussein said if conducted using scientific methods, opinion polls could give a true reflection even when repeated by those holding dissenting views as the opposition have done.
He said: “But politics are dynamic, things can change anytime and this is what could prevent people from becoming apathetic. Such surveys should also motivate people to go and vote.”
MCP, which governed the country in a one-party dictatorship from 1964 to 1994, has been boosted with more chances of winning in the election as former president Joyce Banda formally withdrew her candidature in the presidential race and officially announced her endorsement of MCP presidential candidate Lazarus Chakwera while disadvantaging other political parties that will go it solo.
While MCP is in an electoral alliance with Banda’s People’s Party (PP) and former vice president Khumbo Kachali’s Freedom Party, UTM is in alliance with Aford and Tikonze Movement.
The DPP is in alliance with a tiny party Depeco of evangelist Chris Daza.
While UDF president Atupele Muluzi roped in Aford’s former Karonga Central legislature Frank Mwenifumbo to be his running mate , the only northerner appearing in the presidential ballot.
In the May 20 2014 Tripartite Elections, Banda finished third with 1 056 236 votes against 1 904 399 for the winner Peter Mutharika of Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) and 1 455 880 for the runner-up Chakwera. Current Minister of Health Atupele Muluzi of United Democratic Front (UDF) was fourth with 717 224 votes.
About 6.59 million voters are expected to vote this year, with over half of the eligible voters being youths and women.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :