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Alliance talks still on— Saulos Chilima

Vice-President Saulos Chilima, who is also UTM leader, yesterday said the party was in talks with other political parties on a possible alliance ahead of the fresh presidential polls.

Chilima, speaking at Masintha ground in Lilongwe, said once the party makes a decision it will inform its followers within the 150 days during which the Constitutional Court that heard the presidential election results case ordered fresh polls.

“The alliance will help people to achieve the 50 percent-plus-one of the votes easily, but we need to ask ourselves what we want to do in the alliance. We will discuss and come out and say who we will settle for. Whether we are going with UDF, MCP [Malawi Congress Party] or anyone, we are going to announce,” he said.

Chilima said people should also believe in themselves if the alliance flops.

“We are discussing to see what to do, what is good or bad, who to align with or not. We are still reviewing the matter and once we are done, we will announce our decision,” he said.

Recently, reports suggested that UTM was meeting different political parties, including MCP on the possibility to have an alliance in the presidential election.

But Chilima insisted that no party can claim to have more voters based on the May 21 Tripartite Elections, saying it was erroneous basing figures “on polls which did not take place” after the Constitutional Court nullified the presidential election results citing irregularities.

During last year’s disputed polls, Malawi Electoral Commission declared that Peter Mutharika had won by 38 percent followed by

MCP president Lazarus Chakwera (35 percent), then Chilima (20 percent).

Chilima also spoke against nepotism which he said has divided the nation, particularly in civil service recruitment.

“We are one and no one should divide us,” he said.

The party has promised to continue selling its manifesto it launched last year during the campaign period for the May 21 election which, among other things, includes creation of one million jobs for the youth, ensuring food security by selling subsidized fertiliser at K5,000 per 50 kilogramme bag.

Chilima leader further asked Mutharika to address the challenges that people are facing, citing lack of drugs in hospitals, hunger and increased cases of theft in the country.

UTM Secretary General, Patricia Kaliati, urged people to support the party and go out in large numbers to register when voter registration starts.

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