Power of incumbency: DPP and 2014 victory

As the next Presidential and Parliamentary Elections are around the corner, the main question that many ask is whether the ruling DPP will carry the day or not. With the current political situation many mistakenly are convinced that the ruling DPP will not form the next government.

However in this brief article, I will be sharing the opposite part of the debate where my main argument is that come 2014, the ruling Democratic Progressive Party is likely to win both the Presidential and parliamentary election with a simple majority and not a two third as was the case in the previous election. To argue my case, I have put forward some key factors as to why the DPP will form the next government.

Power of incumbency

The first factor that gives the DPP advantage is that this is the party with power of the incumbency with them. This is the party which through the President will call for the election in 2014 and as government they will have to organise and pay for the electoral expenses. With this then, there is no reason for the ruling party to lose the elections. What the writer means is that the ruling party can not lose the election which they themselves organise. The power of the incumbency in this regard gives the DPP advantage and they will win the election though with just a simple majority.

Mutharika: May lead DPP into another victory

Many have counter argue my notion on this matter using the Zambia situation where the ruling MMD and Rupiah Banda lost to Michael Sata’s Patriotic Front. In as much as the Zambia scenario is a vivid one, the DPP through their political party strategist, will not allow the MMD and Rupiah Banda situation to happen in Malawi. The DPP Strategist must have analysed the Zambian situation and by now they must have done everything possible to avoid the Zambia scenario to repeat itself in Malawi. The ruling DPP exactly is aware of all the factors that made the MMD lose that election in Zambia. The researcher is convinced that the DPP strategist must have done all the necessarily research on this matter where by now they have enough information that will help them avoid the Zambian Scenario happening in Malawi.

As I wrote somewhere, it is a political carelessness for the ruling party to lose an election. The MMD in Zambia had no workable strategy to give them victory during the last elections. They undermined the Patriotic Front and never put up enough effort to stop Sata from getting to State House. As the ruling party they had every type of strategy around them to use so that they win the election but they were just careless and lost it.

Presidential and parliamentary election is like warfare where contestants have to do research and know the strength of the other in terms of how they fight the battle and what type of weapon do they use to fight. You don’t go to the battle field without a winning strategy. In Zambia, the MMD had no winning strategy and did not even know the strength of the Patriotic Front hence they were defeated

What we saw in Zambia was just one of those political carelessness’ by the Rupiah Banda’s MMD party. As for the Malawi’s DPP, it will be a huge political carelessness to lose the coming election after having learnt clear lesions from their Zambian counterpart. Since the DPP have a case in point to use to strengthen their position, they are therefore likely to win the coming election. It is from this point of view that the DPP in Malawi will form the next government. In as much as many argue using the current economic situation in the country, this will have little to stop the DPP from forming the next governemnt because they are the governing party.

Political pattern in Malawi presidential victories
A critical look at the political parties’ victories since 1994 shows that the ruling party has never lost any election. The argument here is that from the available evidence, since 1994, the ruling parties seem to have the magical formula to get the victories during the elections. We are aware that in 1999 the UDF won the elctions in as much as it was not very popular that time.

In 2004 in as much as Muluzi with his third term bid made the UDF unpopular in the country, the party still won the election. We are all aware that the pre- 2004 general election political situation in Malawi didn’t favour the UDF but still this party which was demonised that time won the election. Some of us are witness to so many political and economic events that brought the UDF to its knees that time but still the unpopular UDF won the election in 2004 which brought in Prof. Bingu Wa Muthalika as the second President in a democratic Malawi.

Having said this, we are also aware of that during the 2009 election, the DPP took over almost the entire country as they got the two third in Parliament. The mistake that many are currently making is that they are using the current social economic and political situation to judge the DPP and quickly say that they will not make it come 2014 which is a misplace judgement. The current social economic and political situation will not be the same come 2014 and even if it remains the same, Malawians have their own way of how they elect their leaders and they normally use wisdom. It is from this point of view again that this writer is of the opinion that the political party patterns in Malawi in terms of victories, shows that the ruling party since 1994 has not lost any election.

Directionless and power hungry opposition
The other key factor is that the opposition parties in Malawi are not organised and also that they are led by selfish politicians with no vivid agenda for the nation. This writer has looked into all what the key opposition leaders continue to say so far and all of them are empty with no tangible agenda for the nation. What we hear them saying is just criticizing the weak areas of the ruling DPP which is their sign of political immaturity. The opposition in Malawi have absolutely no agenda. What Malawians need is a party that has an agenda for the nation with clear vision and direction. What we mean is that the MCP, PP, UDF and others do not have any tangible agenda and work plan on the table for the nation and with no key ideology to guide their party politics. What we hear is this noise and that noise and not any progressive agenda for the nation.

In addition, many of those in opposition are in politics because they don’t have anything to do and would want to find a little something to keep them busy. They are by and large political opportunist and political party prostitutes. This may sound hard but it is just a sober truth about Malawi politics which is a sad development. You don’t build a party with political prostitutes because they can leave you anytime based on where the pasture gets more greener. Political prostitutes have no philosophy and principles to guide their operations. What they only know best is to wait for an opportunity, speak and criticise the political agenda and policies of the ruling party. They operate in a political blindness and have no political direction. They have no plan of action apart from taking negative against the ruling party and government.

Having said this, those in opposition need to realise that Malawians are not looking for political opportunists or political prostitutes but the type of leaders who have the heart for the people.

*Peter Qeko Jere is a university lecturer and posted this article on his blog.

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