Political analysts and governance commentators have said the United Democratic Front (UDF) led by youthful Minister of Health Atupele Muluzi, hold key to winning the May 21 2019 watershed Tripartite Elections.
The elections will be a three –block affair among UTM Party of State vice-president Saulos Chilima, Malawi Congress Party (MCP) of Lazarus Chakwera and the governing Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) of incumbent president Peter Mutharika, according to political scientists Joseph Chunga and Ernest Thindwa , both from Chancellor College , a constituent of the University of Malawi.
Chunga said: “I am convinced that the DPP maybe considering to seriously strike a deal with UDF. They now understand that it is more urgent for them to work together than it was two weeks ago.”
He based his arguments on the formation of opposition coalition which Chilima is heading for UTM and other four parties.
Thindwa opines that if DPP fails to take UDF on its ticket, then “that will enhance the chances of UTM and MCO to be competitive.”
He said if DPP and UDF decide to go for an alliance, it will be “ a big boost for them.”
UDF secretary general said so far Muluzi is the party torch bearer.
“We haven’t agreed with nay party yet and honourable Muluzi will be represent the [UDF] party,” said Padambo.
On the other hand, governance commentator Makhumbo Munthali told Nyasa Times that UDF risk being duped by DPP.
“It is clear that both UTM and DPP wanted to name their respective running mate after the other had done so. However, now with the just released Malawi Electoral Commission (MEC) schedule it is likely that DPP will name its running mate after UTM has done so- that is during the submission of nomination papers.
“Interestingly, the MEC schedule puts UDF in every tricky situation in as far as their ambition to see Atupele Muluzi become Mutharika’s running mate. UDF will have to choose whether to stand alone in the election or keep on trusting that Mutharika stick to their earlier plan by choosing Atupele as running mate,” Muthali said.
However, the governance expert said the situation becomes even more tricky if DPP is to announce the running mate on the day of the submission of the papers – a day after the allocated slot for Atupele’s submission.
“ It is in this regard, that if DPP is really serious of featuring Atupele as running mate, UDF must demand that Mutharika publicly announce that in good time -way before the day Atupele is expected to make his submission. Otherwise, UDF risk being duped,” he said.
On speculation that DPP is offering Atupele to be the second vice President if they win, he warned that is a dead cert.
“I think for second vice presidency it’s a non-starter. People should not abuse such a constitutional provision to satisfy selfish interests which are far from national interest.
“Besides, there is already a recommendation by the Law Commission to abolish the second vice presidency. Whatever agreement UDF and DPP may have as regards to the 2019 tripartite elections it has to be outside the second vice presidency.
“I think it would do UDF and its supporters more good if DPP makes its position clear on the matter before Atupele’s allocated day of submission so that they decide whether to go into the 2019 Tripartite elections alone as UDF or get into an alliance with either MCP or UTM (and others).”
This Monday, UTM-PP-Aford and Tikonze alliance is expected to announce its presidential candidate, largely believed to be Chilima.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :