15 August 2017

Malawi: University of Malawi Political Analysts Differ On Udf Future - Thindwa Says 'Problematic' As Hussein Says Atupele 'Democratic'

Political analysts from Chancellor College of the University of Malawi have offered different opinions on the future of United Democratic Front (UDF) following misty relationship with the governing Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) ahead of the 2019 Tripartite Elections.

Muluzi, who is Minister of Health and Population Services in President Peter Mutharika's Cabinet, said UDF being a sovereign party, a convention would soon be called for members to decide in terms of the direction to take and as a leader he could not dictate.

He argued that an electoral alliance was a process; hence, there were certain stages to take into account before a resolution is made on whether to contest the elections individually or go into partnership.

Muluzi's stand on the matter is backed by political professor at Chancellor College, Mustapha Hussein, saying the UDF leader is showing that he is following a democractic process of ensuring the decision to continue with the working relationship based on input of party members at the right forum as a convention.

Hussein said Muluzi is "trying to democratise" the party's political future by ensuring that UDF party members have a say on the direction it would take.

He said the approach is "commendable" and would strengthen infra-party democracy.

But in comments quoted in the local newspaper, a political science professor at Chancellor College, Ernest Thindwa says UDF has a "problematic future.'

Thindwa says the best Atupele can get in electoral alliance with DPP would be a running mate which would mean President Peter Mutharika dumping Vice President Saulos Chilima.

UDF and DPP became bedfellows soon after the May 20 2014 Tripartite Elections after Mutharika drafted Muluzi into his first Cabinet. Muluzi has been maintained since then.

Muluzi, whose father Bakili Muluzi ruled the country between 1994 and 2004 as the first post-independence multi-party Head of State, said the world was changing and it was high time Malawian politicians started practising civilised politics

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