Malawi: More Electoral Alliances Expected, Says Political Expert

10 February 2019

A political expert says people should expect more electoral alliances even after nomination paper presentation to the Malawi Electoral Commission (MEC) window closed on Friday.

Andrew Mpesi, a Chancellor College (Chanco) political scientist, is predicting that some presidential candidates will be pulling out of the race although they already presented their nominations papers to MEC in favour of other more popular candidates.

"I don't think that the discussions for alliances has ended. We will see some of these candidates pulling out to support some candidates. Some of the candidates presented their nominations in haste before the coalition agreement talks were concluded," he said.

He said electoral alliances make a sound and solid block which can make it easier for political parties to win elections comfortably.

His remarks come at a time when the ruling Democratic Progressive Party has made an electoral alliance with a less fancied Depeco whilst the main opposition Malawi Congress Party is an alliance with less known Freedom Party whilst the UTM Party is in alliance with the broken Alliance for Democracy (Aford) and Tikonze Peoples Movement.

Another political expert George Phiri said it was worrying that political parties struggled to get running mates.

This was after the DPP settled for the less known Everton Chimulirenji as running mate to president Peter Mutharika having promised the same to cabinet minusters Kondwani Nankhumwa, Bright Msaka and Samuel Tembenu.

Meanwhile, only 10 out of 24 presidential aspirants that collected nomination forms fulfilled the requirements to be accepted as presidential candidates.

According to MEC chairperson Jane Ansah, nine of the 10 are representing their respective political parties or political alliances while one is an independent candidate.

Initially, 15 political parties and nine independent candidates collected nomination forms but 11 withdrew their candidature after endorsing other aspirants while three independents failed to meet the requirements.

Earlier on Friday, the DPP and Democratic People's Congress (Depeco) announced that they had entered into a political alliance which will see the two parties working together in different areas prior to and after the May 21 elections.

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