As electoral alliances take shape ahead of the May 19 fresh presidential election, questions have risen on whose party manifestos will be superior in such pacts.
United Democratic Front (UDF) and Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) announced their electoral alliance while UTM and Malawi Congress Party alliance looks certain.
UDF spokesperson, Ken Ndanga, said the two parties will discuss what to take from their respective manifestos going forward, whereas DPP spokesperson, Nicholas Dausi, asked for more time to consult.
“There will be synergies here and there depending on how each party defends its position,” Ndanga said.
Among other differences, in the run-up to the May 21 2019 elections, UDF pledged universal subsidy of farm inputs while DPP pledged to continue with its targeted programme.
MCP General Secretary, Eisenhower Mkaka, said their manifesto and that of UTM are not very different and that there should be no problems synchronising them in the event of an alliance.
“If you look at the manifestos of MCP and UTM, you will see that there are not too many differences. In the event that we form an alliance, it will not be difficult to combine them and move forward,” he said.
UTM spokesperson, Joseph Chidanti Malunga, said MCP/ UTM alliance steering committee is, among other issues, looking at the two manifestoes.
“That is exactly what the committee is looking into to say ‘if we go into an alliance with MCP, what do we take from our manifesto and what do we take from the MCP manifestoes going forward?” he said.
But Chancellor College political analyst, Ernest Thindwa, said manifestos do not form part of alliance talks in Malawi saying manifestos do not win an election.
“Manifestos are not that important in Malawi. What these people are discussing is who leads and who should be the running mate. They are discussing how to share ministerial positions and other senior government positions if they win and not manifestos,” he said.
Thindwa added that almost all the manifestos are the same with minor differences.
Malawi goes to polls after the Constitutional Court nullified the May 21 2019 presidential election results due to what it called glaring irregularities.