UDF, MCP dismiss opinion poll: ‘Will of the people on May 20’

United Democratic Front (UDF) and Malawi Congress Party (MCP) have dismissed the controversial opinion poll by the US-based Afrobarometer opinion poll released Friday night as flawed and not credible.

In the poll, Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) presidential candidate 74-year-old Peter Mutharika commanded 27 percent of the vote followed by Lazarus Chakwera of Malawi Congress Party (MCP) and President Joyce Banda of the ruling People’s Party (PP) at 21 and 19 percent, respectively.

Youthful United Democratic Front (UDF) leader Atupele Muluzi, 35 came fourth with 14 percent.

Ndanga: May 20 is the key people when Malawians decide
Ndanga: May 20 is the key people when Malawians decide

Afrobarometer said the poll was conducted between March 23 and April 7 2014 with a sample size of 2 400 people interviewed.

One of Afrobarometer’s leading pollsters, Boniface Dulani, has also narrowed the presidential race to a three-way contest and declared that Atupele is “clearly out of the equation.”

UDF spokesman Ken Ndanga on Sunday said the party know “the underhand tactics” that have been played in all recent opinion polls, saying Atupele will come out stronger “in real ballot polls not sampling.”

“The polls, in the end, are not what’s going to decide this election,” said Ndanga.

“People who are registered voters in both urban and rural area are going to decide the election and they will have a simple choice: More of the same or change agenda,” he said.

MCP vice president Richard Msowoya also trashed the opinion polls by Afrobarometer, saying they smacked of fraud.

He told a rally in Mzuzu that all polls by London-based Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU), Malawi’s Research Tech Consultants and online news site Nyasa Times which have highly favoured President Joyce Banda to win the forthcoming elections, placed MCP second.

“The Pollsters did it for the money. We do not have money to fund such exercises. We need money to use it for development projects,” he said.

Msowoya said for all polls to show MCP president Chakwera is coming second, means he is the main challenger of President Banda “and certainly a winner on May 20.”

He dismissed that DPP’s Mutharika can get popular vote in the elections, saying it can only be possible if Malawians had become senseless and forget the recent suffering during the DPP “brutal rule”.

Dulani pointed out that opinion polling is “not exact science and also changes quickly.”

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