Political analysts have opined that the current leadership squabbles in Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) may affect the party’s performance in the forthcoming November 10 by-elections.
Malawi Electoral Commission (Mec) will hold by-elections in five constituencies of Mangochi North, Mangochi North East, Phalombe North, Lilongwe North West and Karonga Central.
University of Livingstonia political commentator, George Phiri, said DPP leaders could be busy fighting for positions and not campaigning for the by-elections.
Phiri said the squabbles will also affect the nation at large as the Tonse Alliance government is having a weak opposition to offer checks and balances.
“The leaders are not holding meetings in unity just like they were doing in the past. They are busy fighting amongst themselves. If they are not seen in the constituencies, it means they are fuelling their own downfall.
“To make matters worse, they are even fighting among themselves in Parliament. Who will speak for the voiceless and conduct checks and balances to the Tonse government. This means, both DPP and the nation will be affected,” Phiri said.
Another political analyst Latin Matenje cast doubt on DPP even doing well in the three constituencies of the Southern Region which is considered the former governing party’s stronghold.
“The squabbles are untimely because this is the time they would be fully on the ground campaigning. They have three constituencies in the Southern Region where they are strong but they can lose to other parties,” Matenje said.
Both Phiri and Matenje are of the view that governing Malawi Congress Party and UTM will capitalise on the DPP infightings to win more seats at the by-elections.
But DPP spokesperson Brown Mpinganjira said the party has deployed various means of campaigning ahead of the poll including visiting potential voters at their doorsteps.
Mpinganjira claimed the party suffered a lot of violence in the 2019 elections, hence changing the campaign approach.
“Every person who goes to elections always has hope that they will win. So as DPP we are going to make it without doubt,” Mpinganjira said.
He then advised DPP supporters to remain intact, saying the current leadership wrangles will come to an end eventually.
Currently, at least two camps have emerged in DPP where one is siding with the current party’s president Peter Mutharika and the other is led by Kondwani Nankhumwa.