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

Multimedia Obama Defends Immigration Action

Obama says with his executive action on immigration, enforcement resources will be focused on 'felons, not families; criminals, not children' More

US-Led Airstrikes in Syria Kill Over 900: Monitoring Group

British-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights says the toll includes more than 50 civilians, five of them women and eight of them children More

Report: Obama Broadens US Combat Role in Afghanistan

The New York Times says resident Barack Obama has signed a classified order extending the role of US troops in Afghanistan for another year 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.
New Skateboard Defies Gravityi
X
November 21, 2014 5:07 AM
A futuristic dream only a couple of decades ago, the hoverboard – a skateboard that floats above the ground - has finally been made possible. While still not ready for mass production, it promises to become a cool mode of transport... at least over some surfaces. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video New Skateboard Defies Gravity

A futuristic dream only a couple of decades ago, the hoverboard – a skateboard that floats above the ground - has finally been made possible. While still not ready for mass production, it promises to become a cool mode of transport... at least over some surfaces. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Falling Gas Prices Impact US Oil Extraction

With the price of oil now less than $80 a barrel, motorists throughout the United States are benefiting from gas prices below $3 a gallon. But as VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, the decreasing price of petroleum has a downside for the hydraulic fracturing industry in the United States.
Video

Video Tensions Build on Korean Peninsula Amid Military Drills

It has been another tense week on the Korean peninsula as Pyongyang threatened to again test nuclear weapons while the U.S. and South Korean forces held joint military exercises in a show of force. VOA’s Brian Padden reports from the Kunsan Air Base in South Korea.
Video

Video Mama Sarah Obama Honored at UN Women’s Entrepreneurship Day

President Barack Obama's step-grandmother is in the United States to raise money to build a $12 million school and hospital center in Kogelo, Kenya, the birthplace of the president's father, Barack Obama, Sr. She was honored for her decades of work to aid poor Kenyans at a Women's Entrepreneurship Day at the United Nations.
Video

Video Gay Evangelicals Argue That Bible Does Not Condemn Homosexuality

More than 30 U.S. states now recognize same-sex marriages, and an increasing number of mainline American churches are blessing them. But evangelical church members- which account for around 30 percent of the U.S. adult population - believe the Bible unequivocally condemns homosexuality. VOA's Jerome Socolovsky reports that gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender evangelicals are coming out. Backed by a prominent evangelical scholar, they argue that the traditional reading of the bible is wrong.
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.

All About America

AppleAndroid