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

Video Video Claims to Show Shi'ite Forces in Iraq Executing Sunni Boy

While not yet independently confirmed, brutal killing already has gotten attention of Islamic State followers on social media More

After Six Years, Little Change for Niger Delta's Former Militants

Nigerians who laid down arms in exchange for government amnesty subsidies fear program may end with upcoming presidential elections More

Vietnam Pushes for More Educated Drivers to Curb Road Deaths

Transportation officials hope that making a greater effort to get drivers to learn the rules of the road will reduce fatal crashes 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.
Video Claims to Show Shia Forces in Iraq Executing Sunni Boyi
X
Jeff Seldin
March 05, 2015 2:36 AM
A graphic mobile phone video is spreading on the Internet, claiming to show Iraqi forces or Shia militia executing a handcuffed Sunni boy. Experts have yet to verify the video, but already Islamic State followers are publicizing it across social media, playing on deep-rooted sectarian fears. VOA’s Jeff Seldin reports.
Video

Video Video Claims to Show Shia Forces in Iraq Executing Sunni Boy

A graphic mobile phone video is spreading on the Internet, claiming to show Iraqi forces or Shia militia executing a handcuffed Sunni boy. Experts have yet to verify the video, but already Islamic State followers are publicizing it across social media, playing on deep-rooted sectarian fears. VOA’s Jeff Seldin reports.
Video

Video Ukrainian Authorities Struggle to Secure a Divided Mariupol

Since last month's cease-fire went into effect, shelling around the port city of Mariupol has decreased, but it is thought pro-Russian separatists remain poised to attack. For the city’s authorities, a major challenge is gaining the trust of residents, while at the same time rooting out informants who are passing sensitive information to the rebels. Patrick Wells reports for VOA.
Video

Video Volunteer Gauge-Watchers Help Fine-Tune Weather Science

An observation system called CoCoRaHS is working to improve weather science, thanks to thousands of volunteers across the country who measure precipitation in their own backyards, then share their data through the Internet. VOA's Shelley Schlender reports.
Video

Video NASA Spacecraft Approaches a Dwarf Planet

NASA’s Dawn spacecraft will make history on Friday, March 6, when it becomes the first man-made object to orbit a dwarf planet named Ceres. It is located in the asteroid belt between Mars and Jupiter, almost 500 million kilometers from Earth. Among other objectives, Dawn will try to examine two mysterious bright white spots detected on the planet’s surface. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Young Muslims Radicalized Online

Young Muslims are being radicalized ‘in their bedrooms’ through direct contact with Islamic State or ISIL fighters via the Internet, according to terror experts. There are growing concerns that authorities and Internet providers are not doing enough to counter online extremism - which analysts say is spread by a prolific network of online supporters around the world. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video African Americans Recall 1960's Fight For Voting Rights

U.S. President Barack Obama and thousands of people will gather in the small southern U.S. city of Selma, Alabama, Saturday, March 7th to commemorate the 50th anniversary of a historic voting rights march that became known as “Bloody Sunday." VOA’s Chris Simkins traveled to Alabama and introduces us to some of the foot soldiers of the voting rights struggles of the 1960’s.
Video

Video Positive Messaging Transforms Ethiopia's Image

Ethiopia was once known for famine and droughts. Now, headlines more often point to its fast-growing economy and its emergence as a regional peacemaker. How has Addis Ababa changed the narrative? VOA's Marthe van der Wolf reports.
Video

Video Cyber War Rages Between Iran, US

A newly published report indicates Iran and the United States have increased their cyber attacks on each other, even as their top diplomats are working toward an agreement to guarantee Iran does not develop a nuclear weapon and to free Iran from international sanctions. The development is part of a growing global trend. VOA’s Al Pessin reports from London.
Video

Video Answers Elude Families of MH370 Passengers

For the families on board Malaysia Airlines flight MH370, an airline official’s statement nearly one year ago that the plane had lost contact with air traffic control at 2:40 AM is the only thing that remains confirmed. William Ide reports.

All About America

Circumventing Censorship

An Internet Primer for Healthy Web Habits

As surveillance and censoring technologies advance, so, too, do new tools for your computer or mobile device that help protect your privacy and break through Internet censorship.
More