Political experts say the continued absence of President Peter Mutharika in the heated campaign ahead of the Constitutional Court sanctioned fresh presidential election on July 2 might affect his re-election bid.
Mutharika has been on self-imposed lockdown at Sanjika Palace in Blantyre amidst the coronavirus pandemic fears as he has not held any political rally since campaign was officially rolled out.
The President’s running mate Atupele Muluzi is the one hitting the road on campaign trail as Mutharika’s absence during the campaign is conspicuous.
One of the political commentators, Vincent Kondowe said visibility matters most during campaign which he said is a period for candidates to market themselves to the people before they go to the ballot box.
“People out there are wondering as to what is happening to the candidate. It is surprising that it is only Atupele, who will not be on the ballot paper, is the only one campaigning,” said Kondowe.
Another political commentator Sherif Kaisi said people would vote for a candidate they have seen, not they have heard of.
But presidential spokesperson Mgeme Kalilani said this is not an issue worth worrying about.
“It is very interesting that some people would want to raise an issue which is not an issue at all. President Mutharika is busy working in his office,” he said.
Mutharika, 80, filed his nomination papers for the July 2 rerun alongside running mate Atupele, the 41-year old son of former President Bakili Muluzi, who ruled Malawi from 1994 to 1999.
The energetic Atupele, who is serving as Energy minister in Mutharika’s Cabinet, is a president of United Democratic Front (UDF) which is in alliance with the governing Democratic Progressive Party (DPP).
Mutharika said during nomination of papers to the electoral body that with Atupele, they will be “the bridge to the future.”
He confidently said “together we will win this election.”Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :