Main opposition Malawi Congress Part (MCP) has downplayed a new country report for Malawi released by London-based Economic Intelligence Unit (EIU) of The Economist Group which says President Peter Mutharika may have an edge over the opposition in 2019 elections, saying it is not reflective of reality on the ground.
EIU, an internationally acclaimed risk and forecast think-tank, has said it expects Mutharika and the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) to secure re-election in the 2019 election but noted public discontent of economic hardships which is increasingly causing dissatisfaction among citizens.
MCP deputy spokesman Ezekiel Ching’oma said the EIU cannot in anyway determine the outcome of the next year’s Tripartite Elections but their projections are clearly indicating MCP is on its way to form government and Chakwera to be victorious.
The EIU—in its latest forecast report for Malawi generated on January 14 2018—sees MCP leader Lazarus Chakwera as Mutharika’s biggest threat with his anti-corruption platform.
Chakwera came a close second to Mutharika in the 2014 presidential race in which he swept the Central Region vote while it was the populous Southern Region vote that propelled the incumbent President to victory.
“It is clear in the EIU report that DPP will only win if the opposition is divided,” Ching’oma observed.
He said the state of affairs is completely crumbling and everything, ranging from key sectors of agriculture, education and health, is failing thereby making Malawians face the consequences.
Ching’oma said the major problem in Malawi is corruption.
“If DPP root out corruption and trigger economic transformation, then they may win,” he said
“So, the major challenge is how to root out corruption. Malawians will not give mandate of governing to thieves again,” he said.
According to EIU, Mutharika is likely to win based on the support in the Southern Region even if the electoral system was changed from the current first-past-the post or simple majority to 50 plus-one.
“Amending the electoral process so that the presidential candidates have to win an absolute majority may happen, but even if it does, we still expect Mutharika, who has announced his intentions to stand for re-election, to win,” reads in part the report seen by Nyasa Times.
Ching’oma also said the findings only tips Mutharika to win if MCP fails to resolve internal leadership wrangles and taking advantage because of its popularity in the populous Southern Region, its stronghold.
He played down the prediction, saying the opposition has also been strategising on winning the Southern Region and is already making inroads.
But EIU’s predictions have been welcomed by the DPP with Francis Kasaila, spokesman of the ruling party, saying while the party is at an advantage because of its popularity in the populous Southern Region; it is also making inroads in the Central Region, the MCP’s stronghold.
“The EIU predictions could not be far from the truth. DPP is strengthening,” Kasaila said.
Kasaila also said DPP was busy addressing its shortfalls.
In the run-up to the May 20 2014 Tripartite Elections, the EIU wrongly predicted that the then president Joyce Banda would be victorious but she was voted out after finishing a distant third in both presidential and parliamentary races.
EIU also wrongly predicted that Hilary Clinton would win the United States of America presidential elections but as it turned out, Donald Trump emerged the victor.
A social commentator Henry Makande said: “We can’t rely on the EIU’s report translating into votes because they have gotten it wrong on so many occasions if my memory serves me right”.
He said considering the failed predictions made by the EIU in the run-up to the 2014 elections, the current report can only are described as propaganda.
EIU has also predicted wrongly in Ghana elections one two occasions.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :