Malawian opposition parties consider single candidate to challenge Mutharika

2016-08-19 14:30
Peter Mutharika. (File: AP)

Peter Mutharika. (File: AP)

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Lilongwe - With the next presidential election just three years away, Malawian opposition parties have announced the consideration of a grand coalition to field a single candidate to challenge President Peter Mutharika.

According to Nyasa Times, opposition leaders expressed concern over the main opposition party, the Malawi Congress Party (MCP), becoming a "perpetual opposition" should Lazarous Chakwera, MCP leader, remain at the helm.

Portipher Chidaya, Administrative Director for the MCP, confirmed that the party had been considering the viability of a combined opposition, granted that common ground was found between the policies and manifestos of those parties involved.

Proposed by People's Party (PP) acting president Uladi Mussa, an electoral pact would see party leaders conducting rigorous negotiations in order to persuade supporters at grassroots level to endorse the move.

Controversial electoral alliance 

Enock Chihana, president of the Alliance for Democracy (Aford), confirmed his support for a "unity of purpose", while saying that the move would be a step forward to liberating Malawians from the ruling Democratic Progressive Party (DPP).

Political analysts argued that the opposition would not succeed because their interests were not based on national principles.

"Ultimately, I can foresee them having more problems when in government than the current scenario because they don't have genuine and strong common interests," Happy Kayuni, a political scientist based at Chancellor College in Zambia, was quoted as saying by MW Nation.

In 2014, the southern African country saw a controversial electoral alliance between the United Democratic Front (UDF) and Aford in order to field a joint presidential candidate in the general election held on May 18 of the same year, Pana Press reported.

Despite a valiant effort, the alliance partners failed to ascend to power and went their separate ways soon thereafter.

Read more on:    dpp  |  peter mutharika  |  malawi  |  southern africa  |  politics

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