News / Africa

Malawi Presidential Vote, ‘Too Close to Call’

FILE - An elderly woman casts her vote in Malawi's general election in Machinga district, north of the commercial capital, Blantyre.
FILE - An elderly woman casts her vote in Malawi's general election in Machinga district, north of the commercial capital, Blantyre.
Peter Clottey
A newly released Afrobarometer poll in Malawi shows President Joyce Banda and her ruling People’s Party (PP) placed third behind two opposition presidential candidates in the run up to the May 20 presidential, legislative and local elections.

The survey showed a decline in President Banda’s approval rating, which dropped from a high of 68 percent shortly after she took office in 2012, to just 38 percent in 2014 with about a 60 percent disapproval rating.

But supporters of the ruling party have rejected the outcome of the poll, contending that the poll, released days before the general election, could undermine the credibility of the vote.

Boniface Dulani, Afrobarometer Operations field manager in Malawi dismissed the PP supporters claim that the results of the poll will undermine the credibility of the election.

“Our finding is that the election in Malawi is too close to call. But that said, there is a clear candidate that is in the lead and that is the leader of the Democratic Progressive Party [Peter Mutharika], with 27 percent saying that they will vote for that particular candidate,” said Dulani. “In the second place is the Malawi Congress Party, Lazarus Chakwera with 21 percent…in third place is incumbent President Joyce Banda with 19 percent.”

Dulani says about 15 percent of the respondents have yet to decide which presidential candidates to vote for in the general election.  He says the undecided respondents could act as swing voters in next week’s vote.

“We believe that depending on who that 15 percent undecided decide to vote could sway the results in favor of the top three candidates in particular,” said Dulani.

He says Afrobarometer’s scientific poll is a true reflection of the responses the group got from prospective Malawian voters in the run up to the election. Dulani outlined some of the findings in the polling.

“When we look closely at the numbers, we see that there is a regional split, with the ruling party of President Joyce Banda doing very well in the northern part of the country, but that also happens to be the least populous region…In the Central region of the country the Malawi Congress Party have a lot of support, and it also happens to be the second most populous region, of the three regions of this country,” he said.

The Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) has been polling very well in the Southern region, which is the most populous region of the country, with about 3.3 million registered voters, according to Dulani.

He says Afrobarometer stands by its polling results after supporters of the projected losing candidates rejected the findings saying the outcome was not a true reflection of their ground games.

Dulani says the polling organization is not to blame for the outcome of its findings about the performance of the presidential candidates in the run up to the vote.

“No one, especially this close the election, would want to be labeled as a likely loser,” said Dulani. “But what we tell people is that it’s not Afrobarometer saying that this one is in the lead… we are just presenting what Malawian citizens have told us. So the onus is on the political leadership in this country to go and make their case to the Malawian citizens that they are worthy of getting their vote.”

Critics say Afrobarometer’s polling could negatively influence prospective voters as well as create potential voter apathy. Dulani disagreed.

“It’s obviously good timing for our findings showing those in the lead and maybe bad timing for those [trailing] that think the timing is poor. But, I’m pretty sure that we would have had the same complaints even if we had released the findings 10 weeks back, we would still have had those complaints,” said Dulani.

Afrobarometer is an African-led network of social scientists that conducts regular public opinion surveys in about 35 African countries.         
Clottey interview with Prof. Boniface Dulani, Afrobarometer Malawi manager
Clottey interview with Prof. Boniface Dulani, Afrobarometer Malawi manager i
|| 0:00:00
...    
🔇
X

You May Like

On Everest, Helicopters Rescue Stranded Climbers

Choppers transport some of more than 100 mountaineers trapped after deadly quake, avalanches More

Video Ten Years After Riots, France Searches for Answers to Neglected Suburbs

In 2005, a Paris suburb exploded into violence after two teenagers were electrocuted as they hid from police; since then, somethings have changed, others not More

US, Japan Announce Historic Revision of Defense Cooperation Guidelines

Nations say new guidelines will be 'cornerstone for peace and security' in Asia-Pacific region while also serving as 'platform for a more stable international security environment' More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: elliot mlongot from: durban,south africa
May 17, 2014 1:24 AM
Let's wait When malawians talks on may 20.I just wish them peaceful elections

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
‘Angel of the Migrants’ Helps Desperate Syrians Arriving in Europei
X
Henry Ridgwell
April 26, 2015 10:36 PM
Waves of migrants are continuing to arrive on the shores of southern Italy from North Africa. After their dangerous journey across the Mediterranean, they face an unknown future in Europe. In the Sicilian city of Catania there is an activist dedicated to helping the refugees on their journey.
Video

Video ‘Angel of the Migrants’ Helps Desperate Syrians Arriving in Europe

Waves of migrants are continuing to arrive on the shores of southern Italy from North Africa. After their dangerous journey across the Mediterranean, they face an unknown future in Europe. In the Sicilian city of Catania there is an activist dedicated to helping the refugees on their journey.
Video

Video Ten Years After Riots, France Searches for Answers to Neglected Suburbs

January’s terrorist attacks and fears of more to come are casting a spotlight on France’s neglected suburbs. Home to many immigrants, and sometimes hubs of crime, they were rocked by rioting a decade ago. Lisa Bryant visited the Paris suburb of Clichy-sous-Bois, where the 2005 violence first broke out, and has this report about what has changed and what has not.
Video

Video Gay Marriage Goes Before US Supreme Court

This week, the U.S. Supreme Court will hear arguments on whether gay people have a constitutional right to marriage. VOA’s Michael Bowman reports, the case could lead to the nationwide legalization of same-sex marriage, or a continuation of the status quo in which individual states decide whether to recognize gay unions.
Video

Video Study: Insecticide Damaging Wild Bee Populations

A popular but controversial type of insecticide is damaging important wild bee populations, according to a new study. VOA’s Steve Baragona has more.
Video

Video Data Servers Could Heat Private Homes

As every computer owner knows, when their machines run a complex program they get pretty hot. In fact, cooling the processors can be expensive, especially when you're dealing with huge banks of computer servers. But what if that energy could heat private homes? VOA’s George Putic reports that a Dutch energy firm aims to do just that.
Video

Video Cinema That Crosses Borders Showcased at Tribeca Film Festival

Among the nearly 100 feature length films being shown at this year’s Tribeca Film Festival in New York City are more than 20 documentaries and features with international appeal, from a film about a Congolese businessman in China, to documentaries shot in Pakistan and diaspora communities in the U.S., to a poetic look at disaffected South African youth. VOA’s Carolyn Weaver has more.
Video

Video UN Confronts Threat of Young Radicals

The radicalization and recruitment of young people into Islamist extremist groups has become a growing challenge for governments worldwide. On Thursday, the U.N. Security Council heard from experts on the issue, which has become a potent threat to international peace and security. VOA’s Margaret Besheer reports.
Video

Video Growing Numbers of Turks Discover Armenian Ancestry

In a climate of improved tolerance, growing numbers of people in Turkey are discovering their grandmothers were Armenian. Hundreds of thousands of Armenians escaped the mass deportations and slaughter of the early 1900's by forced conversion to Islam. Or, Armenian children were taken in by Turkish families and assimilated. Now their stories are increasingly being heard. Dorian Jones reports from Istanbul that the revelations are viewed as an important step.
Video

Video Migrants Trek Through Western Balkans to Reach EU

Migrants from Africa and other places are finding different routes into the European Union in search of a better life. The Associated Press followed one clandestine group to document their trek through the western Balkans to Hungary. Zlatica Hoke reports that the migrants started using that route about four years ago. Since then, it has become the second-most popular path into Western Europe, after the option of sailing from North Africa to Italy.
Video

Video US Businesses See Cuba as New Frontier

The Obama administration's opening toward Cuba is giving U.S. companies hope they'll be able to do business in Cuba despite the continuation of the U.S. economic embargo against the communist nation. Some American companies have been able to export some products to Cuba, but the recent lifting of Cuba's terrorism designation could relax other restrictions. As VOA's Daniela Schrier reports, corporate heavy hitters are lining up to head across the Florida Straits - though experts urge caution.
Video

Video Kenya Launches Police Recruitment Drive After Terror Attacks

Kenya launched a major police recruitment drive this week as part of a large-scale effort to boost security following a recent spate of terror attacks. VOA’s Gabe Joselow reports that allegations of corruption in the process are raising old concerns about the integrity of Kenya’s security forces.
Video

Video Japan, China in Race for Asia High-Speed Rail Projects

A lucrative competition is underway in Asia for billions of dollars in high-speed rail projects. Cambodia, India, Indonesia, Malaysia Thailand and Vietnam are among the countries planning to move onto the fast track. They are negotiating with Japan and the upstart Chinese who are locked in a duel to revolutionize transportation across Asia. VOA Correspondent Steve Herman in Bangkok has details.
Video

Video Scientists: Mosquitoes Attracted By Our Genes

Some people always seem to get bitten by mosquitoes more than others. Now, scientists have proved that is really the case - and they say it’s all because of genes. It’s hoped the research might lead to new preventative treatments for diseases like malaria, as Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Bible Museum Coming to Washington DC

Washington is the center of American political power and also home to some of the nation’s most visited museums. A new one that will showcase the Bible has skeptics questioning the motives of its conservative Christian funders. VOA religion correspondent Jerome Socolovsky reports.
Video

Video Afghan First Lady Pledges No Roll Back on Women's Rights

Afghan First Lady Rula Ghani, named one of Time's 100 Most Influential, says women should take part in talks with Taliban. VOA's Rokhsar Azamee has more from Kabul.

VOA Blogs