News / Africa

Malawi Holds First Ever Debate for Presidential Running Mates

Malawi’s  presidential aspirant in the May 20 tripartite elections and head of Malawi's United Democratic Front (UDF) party Atupele Muluzi (C) speaks next to his running mate Godfrey Chapola (L) and a Malawi Electoral Commission official (R) to present his nomination papers to the Commission, Feb. 12, 2014,  Blantyre.
Malawi’s presidential aspirant in the May 20 tripartite elections and head of Malawi's United Democratic Front (UDF) party Atupele Muluzi (C) speaks next to his running mate Godfrey Chapola (L) and a Malawi Electoral Commission official (R) to present his nomination papers to the Commission, Feb. 12, 2014, Blantyre.
Lameck Masina
Malawi has held the first-ever broadcast political debate among the running mates to the presidential candidates in the May 20 election.

Organized by the privately-owned Zodiak Broadcasting Station, the debate comprised running mates from the country’s major political parties.

They are Sosten Gwengwe from the ruling People’s Party, Richard Msowoya from the Malawi Congress Party, Godfrey Chapola from United Democratic Front and Saulos Chilima of the Democratic Progressive Party.

During the debate, conducted in the local language Chichewa, the candidates were asked how they would address various issues of national concern if voted into power.

Among the issues were agriculture, infrastructure development and homosexuality. One common area was how to address poverty facing Malawians. Current statistics show that 65 percent of Malawians are living below the poverty line of $2 per day.

A political scientist at Chancellor College of the University of Malawi, Ernest Thindwa, said he thinks the debates were a lost opportunity for the candidates.

He says it was sad they seemed not well prepared for the debate, which he says was of national interest.

“You could see from the discussions that perhaps the candidates were not as prepared as they should have been," he said. "There was no candidate that came up with an action plan. [For example] during the debate the candidates were asked ‘what is your party’s position on gay [homosexuality]’. None of the party came with a solution. Now we do not want to have a party which is not decided on an issue which citizens think it is important.”

Some Malawians say the debate was an indication that Malawi's democracy is maturing.

Gerald Chirwa, who lives in Ndirande Township in the commercial capital, Blantyre, said, "This has really been a very important debate in Malawi being the first one of its kind. It has assisted Malawians to understand the manifestos of various political parties.

The executive director for Zodiak Broadcasting, Gospel Kazako, said the station expects to host the country’s first presidential debate in the near future.

You May Like

VOA Exclusive: Interview With Myanmar President Thein Sein

Thein Sein calls allegations that minority Muslim Rohingya are fleeing alleged torture in Rakhine state a media fabrication More

Video Better Protective Suit Sought for Ebola Caregivers

Current suit is uncomfortable, requires too many steps for removal, increasing chance of deadly contact with virus More

UN Rights Commission Investigates Eritrea

Three-member commission will start collecting first-hand information from victims and other witnesses in Switzerland and Italy next week More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: Xaaji Dhagax from: Somalia
March 10, 2014 4:33 AM
African politicians ought to learn how to articulate a question or an answer and present themselves with clarity and effectiveness.
Transparency and accountability should be the center of any political debate anywhere in Africa.

Politically Malawians are heading towards right direction! Congratulations!


by: Joe Chirwa from: Malawi
March 10, 2014 4:07 AM
This just proves how president Joyce Banda's government values free and fair media in Malawi. May we have many more of this nature until the day of elections arrive.


by: Nelson Muhondo from: Mwanza
March 09, 2014 2:08 PM
very good.they r shodow presidents.we need their ideologies.

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Ebola Economic Toll Stirs W. Africa Food Security Concernsi
X
November 19, 2014 11:39 PM
The World Bank said Wednesday that it expects the economic impact of the Ebola outbreak on the sub-Saharan economy to cost somewhere betweenf $3 billion to $4 billion - well below a previously-outlined worst-case scenario of $32 billion. Some economists, however, paint a gloomier picture - warning that the disruption to regional markets and trading is considerable. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Ebola Economic Toll Stirs W. Africa Food Security Concerns

The World Bank said Wednesday that it expects the economic impact of the Ebola outbreak on the sub-Saharan economy to cost somewhere betweenf $3 billion to $4 billion - well below a previously-outlined worst-case scenario of $32 billion. Some economists, however, paint a gloomier picture - warning that the disruption to regional markets and trading is considerable. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Mexico Protests Escalate Over Disappearances

Protests in Mexico over 43 students missing since September continue to escalate, reflecting growing anger among Mexicans about a political system they view as corrupt, and increasingly tainted by the drug trade. Mounting outrage over the disappearances is now focused on the government of President Enrique Pena Nieto, accused of not doing enough to end insecurity in the country. More from VOA's Victoria Macchi.
Video

Video US Senate Votes Down Controversial Oil Pipeline - For Now

The U.S. Senate has rejected construction of a controversial pipeline to transport Canadian oil to American refineries. The $5 billion project still could be approved next year, but it faces a possible veto by President Barack Obama. As VOA’s Michael Bowman reports, the pipeline has exposed deep divisions in Congress about America’s energy future.
Video

Video Can Minsk Cease-fire Agreement Hold?

Growing tensions between government troops and separatists in eastern Ukraine further threaten a cease-fire agreement reached two months ago in the Belarusian capital of Minsk. Critics of U.S. policy in Ukraine say it is time the Obama administration gives up on that much-violated cease-fire and moves toward a new deal with Russia. VOA's Scott Stearns has more.
Video

Video Chaos, Abuse Defy Solution in Libya

The political and security crisis in Libya is deepening, with competing governments and, according to Amnesty International, widespread human rights violations committed with impunity. VOA’s Al Pessin reports from London.
Video

Video US Hosts Record 866,000 Foreign Students

Close to 900,000 international students are studying at American universities and colleges, more than ever before. About half of them come from Asia, mostly China. The United States hosts more foreign students than any other country in the world, and its foreign student population is steadily growing. Zlatica Hoke reports.
Video

Video Ferguson Church Grapples with Race Relations

Many white residents of Ferguson, Missouri, say they chose to live there because of the American Midwest community's diversity. So, they were shocked when a white police officer killed an unarmed black teenager in August – and shaken by the resulting protests and violence. Some local churches are leading conversations on how to go forward. VOA’s Ayesha Tanzeem reports.
Video

Video What Jon Stewart Learned About Iran From 'Rosewater'

Jon Stewart, host of the satirical news program "The Daily Show" talks with Saman Arbabi of Voice of America's Persian service about Stewart's directorial debut, "Rosewater."
Video

Video Lebanese Winemakers Thrive Despite War Next Door

In some of the most volatile parts of Lebanon, where a constant flow of refugees crosses the border from Syria, one industry continues to flourish against the odds. Lebanese winemakers say after surviving a brutal civil war in the 1970s and 80s, they can survive anything. Heather Murdock has more for VOA from the Bekaa Valley in Lebanon.
Video

Video China's Rise Closely Watched

China’s role as APEC host this week allowed a rare opportunity for Beijing to showcase its vision for the global economy and the region. But as China’s stature grows, so have tensions with other countries, including the United States. VOA’s Bill Ide in Beijing reports on how China’s rise as a global power is seen among Chinese and Americans.

All About America

AppleAndroid