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

EU Court Fines Poland for Hosting CIA 'Black Sites'

Ruling is first time a court has acknowledged suspects were held and tortured at the sites, under US program launched following the 9/11 terrorist attacks More

Migrant Issues Close to Home Spur Groups to Take Action

Groups placing water, food in the desert, or aiding detainees after release, have one common goal: no more deaths of migrants crossing illegally into the US More

Video At AIDS Conference, Prevention Pill Stirs Excitement

Truveda shows promise, spurring debate over access and other approaches 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.
Treatment for Childhood Epilepsy Heats up Medical Marijuana Debatei
X
Shelley Schlender
July 24, 2014 6:43 PM
In the United States, marijuana is classed as an illegal drug by the federal government. But nearly half the states have legalized it, to some degree. Proponents say some strains of marijuana might have exceptional health benefits, for treating pain or inflammation in chronic conditions such as cancer, multiple sclerosis and epilepsy. Shelley Schlender reports on a strain of medical marijuana developed in Colorado that is reputed to reduce seizures in childhood epilepsy
Video

Video Treatment for Childhood Epilepsy Heats up Medical Marijuana Debate

In the United States, marijuana is classed as an illegal drug by the federal government. But nearly half the states have legalized it, to some degree. Proponents say some strains of marijuana might have exceptional health benefits, for treating pain or inflammation in chronic conditions such as cancer, multiple sclerosis and epilepsy. Shelley Schlender reports on a strain of medical marijuana developed in Colorado that is reputed to reduce seizures in childhood epilepsy
Video

Video Airbus Adds Metal 3D Printed Parts to New Jets

By the end of this year, European aircraft manufacturing consortium Airbus plans to deliver the first of its new, extra-wide-body passenger jets, the A350-XWB. Among other technological innovations, the new plane will also incorporate metal parts made in a 3-D printer. VOA's George Putic has more.
Video

Video Death Toll From Israel-Gaza Conflict Surpasses 700

Gaza officials say a shelling hit a compound housing a United Nations-run school in the Gaza Strip, killing more than a dozen people, during an Israeli offensive in the area. Heavy fighting between the Israeli military and Hamas militants continued on Thursday, pushing up the death toll. So far, more than 730 Palestinians and 35 Israelis have been killed in the conflict. VOA's Scott Bobb has the latest from Jerusalem.
Video

Video AIDS Conference Welcomes Exciting Developments in HIV Treatment, Prevention

Significant strides have been made in recent years toward the treatment and prevention of HIV, the virus that causes AIDS. This year, at the International AIDS Conference, the AIDS community welcomed progress on a new pill that may prevent transmission of the deadly virus. VOA’s Anita Powell reports from Melbourne, Australia.
Video

Video Israel Targets Gaza Supply Tunnels

The Israeli military has launched a ground operation in Gaza to destroy the myriad tunnels that may have been used to smuggle weapons to Hamas. VOA's Zlatica Hoke reports that could mean more hardship for the people of Gaza, who obtain some of their essential supplies through these underground passages
Video

Video Researchers Target Low-Cost Avatar Technology

Scientists at the University of Southern California Institute for Creative Technologies say 3-dimensional representations could revolutionize social media. Elizabeth Lee has more from Los Angeles.
Video

Video IAEA: Iran Turns its Enriched Uranium Into Less Harmful Form

Iran has converted its stockpiles of enriched uranium into a less dangerous form that is more difficult to use for nuclear weapons, according to the United Nations’ Atomic Energy Agency. The move complies with an interim deal reached with Western powers on Iran's nuclear program last year, in exchange for easing of sanctions. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London.
Video

Video In Cambodia, HIV Diagnosis Brings Deadly Shame

Although HIV/AIDS is now a treatable condition, a positive diagnosis is still a life altering experience. In Cambodia, people living with HIV are often disowned by friends, family and the community. This humiliation can be unbearable. We bring you one Cambodian woman’s struggle to overcome a life tragedy and her own HIV positive diagnosis.

AppleAndroid