Embattled Ex-Malawi President Bakili
Muluzi is expected to begin talks with the leader of a second opposition party, the Malawi Congress Party
(MCP), today aimed at forming an alliance ahead of the May 19 general election.
This comes after the electoral commission declared Muluzi ineligible as a presidential
candidate in the upcoming vote after he served two consecutive terms as
Malawi's leader from 1994 to 2004. But the former president maintains he is
eligible, vowing to lead his opposition United Democratic Front (UDF) in the
campaign after hiring three more foreign lawyers to challenge the electoral
Political Science Professor Blessing Chissinga at Malawi's
Chancellor University College in Zomba tells reporter Peter Clottey that the
latest poll shows incumbent President Bingu Wa Mutharika will win the upcoming
I think was expected, especially following the decision by the Malawi Electoral
Commission (MEC) to bar President Muluzi from contesting the elections, and the
decision was announced a day before he was to launch his campaign. And what he
said at his campaign was to assure his supporters that the decision of MEC
should not be demoralizing to them because the ruling party (Democratic
People's Party) or the (DPP) is afraid of the strong possibility of the
opposition unity, which will soon come up with strategies in order to make sure
Mutharika loses the presidency in the May 19 general election," Chissinga
said the latest poll released Wednesday shows incumbent President Mutharika
enjoys enormous support ahead of the general election, which sets the stage for
I was just presenting the results of what we call the Afro barometer survey.
And this is a public opinion survey, and it appears across the three regions of
the country that the majority of Malawians, about 60 percent, will vote for
President Mutharika and his DPP, which leaves Tembo (leader of the opposition
MCP) and Muluzi with 40 percent. So there is some chance that even if they come
together, it may be difficult for a combined opposition to dislodge the DPP,"
said the outcome of the May 19 general election might come down to how serious
all the political parties are in wooing or convincing voters to side with their
will all boil down to how these three political major heavyweights will carry
out their campaign. The advantage of President Muluzi and John Tembo is that
these guys are have very good oratory skills and they are able to connect very
easily in simplistic terms with the ordinary man and woman in the street. But on
the other hand Mutharika has serious problems and I think he has a very
technocratic approach to politics and this make it difficult for him to strike
a chord with the ordinary man and woman, especially during the campaign trail,"
said incumbent President Mutharika seems to have the upper hand in the upcoming
election due to how well Malawians see him as managing the economy well and
fulfilling his pledge to provide food security.
advantage that he (Mutharika) has is that he has delivered on the most
important thing for Malawians, which is achieving food security. Since 2005,
the country has had enough to eat and this explains probably the popularity of
President Mutharika," he said.
said the decision by the Malawi Electoral Commission to bar the former
president from representing the opposition UDF in the May 19 election has not
overly incurred the displeasure of most Malawians.
far I think there hasn't been a public reaction, but there have been several
civil society organizations who have urged the Malawi Electoral Commission to
seek to amend the electoral calendar. But what is reassuring is that the High
Court in the country anticipated that there would be a challenge of this
nature. So what the chief justice did was to develop guidelines on how to
dispose of electoral cases. And according to these guidelines, the chief
justice instructed the judiciary to dispose of these cases within 14 days,"
former President Muluzi told his supporters during the launch of his challenge
that he will still represent the UDF in the upcoming election. He adds that the
various opposition parties should come together to form a united opposition
party with strategies to defeat incumbent Mutharika on May 19.
rejecting the former president's candidacy last Friday, Malawi's Electoral
Commission said that allowing Muluzi to stand would mean returning to the old
institution of life presidency.
his disqualification, Muluzi has hired two lawyers from the United Kingdom and
one from South Africa to strengthen his legal team. Muluzi has so far
reportedly hired at least 24 lawyers in his bid to overturn the decision of the