Newly-formed UTM party led by Vice President Saulos Chilima has said it values the public-opinion survey research conducted by Malawi’s Institute of Public Opinion Research (Ipor) which shows the party is third in voting intentions after the governing Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) and main opposition Malawi Congress Party (MCP).
UTM spokesman Joseph Chidanti Malunga said the Ipor survey has helped illustrate the undeniable that Chilima’s led party is “rapidly gaining in popularity” across all of Malawi while others are losing ground.
Malunga described the 16 percent of respondents who would vote for UTM as a huge boost.
“If the survey was done today, we would do better than third place. Even then, 16 percent is a huge boost considering that the survey was done less than two months after the launch,” said Malunga.
Malunga pointed out that the survey shows DPP is down from 36 percent in 2013 to 27 percent while MCP is down from 31 percent then to 27 this year.
He said Chilima wants to lead a UTM government that will “transform this country and give real hope to everybody”.
But MCP has described the findings on UTM being a contender for 2019 elections as just euphoria and excitement that comes with a new thing.
MCP spokesman Maurice Munthali said the UTM euphoria is “dying down.”
He said next year’s elections is a chance for Malawians to change the direction of the country and that MCP is the trustworthy party as surveyed by Ipor.
DPP spokesman Nicholous Dausi applauded the findings which it indicated the party holds a “narrow lead” to win.
Dausi said DPP did not see UTM as a threat.
He said the UTM gained 16 percent at the time it was formed but “the political tantrums of the time are no longer important.”
Dausi said if Ipor conducted the survey today, “things would be different.”
The survey indicates that if elections were to be held today, United Democratic Front (UDF) would get 6 percent of the vote while PP would get 5 percent.
Governance expert and commentator Makhumbo Munthali told Nyasa Times that the pollsters are credible and it reflects on true assessments.
The survey, dated October 2018 was conducted between August and September this year to assess the political environment in Malawi ahead of the May 21 2019 Tripartite Elections and give an understanding of the political and economic environment of the country.
Centre for Multiparty Democracy (CMD) supported the survey carried by University of Malawi professors Blessings Chinsinga, Boniface Dulani, Joseph Chunga and Mwayi Masumbu.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :