Democratic Progressive Party, People’s Party in talks
The ruling Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) is in talks with the People’s Party (PP) in an attempt to form an alliance ahead of the 2019 tripartite elections, The Daily Times has established.
The move, according to well placed sources from both parties, has come after the DPP’s waning popularity as evidenced in the loss to the Malawi Congress Party (MCP) during the October by-elections.
We learn that the meeting details, which are being kept under a tight lid, have been going on with Minister of Local Government Kondwani Nankhumwa leading the DPP team while Ibrahim Matola is leading the PP team.
“The loss in the recent by elections is what has prompted us to start thinking ahead… in politics there are no permanent enemies so we thought it wise to start consolidating[the grip] of the Southern Region to stem the momentum that the MCP is gathering in the region,” said the DPP source who asked for anonymity.
The DPP lost Nsanje Lalanje, Lilongwe Msozi North and Lilongwe City South East constituencies in last month’s by-elections which many argued were a precursor to the tripartite polls.
The losses in Nsanje Lalanje Constituency and Ndirande Makata Ward were of huge significance as the two were regarded as the ruling DPP’s stronghold.
Exiled PP President Joyce Banda distanced herself from the talks when asked whether the meetings are being conducted with her blessings.
Nankhumwa’s phone went unanswered when we tried to call him yesterday.
DPP spokesperson, Francis Kasaila, declined to comment.
PP Secretary General, Ibrahim Matola, declined to comment but advised that we talk to the party spokesperson Noah Chimpeni.
But Chimpeni expressed ignorance when asked about the DPP courting their party.
“I have no idea, but I will get back to you if I hear anything,” he said.
But from several interviews we conducted with PP Members of Parliament from the Northern Region we gathered that the party is split on the decision.
“Some of us do not even want to attend these meetings because the DPP is on the decline, it’s a party which is out of touch and only interested in regionalism,” said one of the legislators who opted not to be named.
Africa Confidential, a London-based publication, a couple of months ago cited high level corruption, infighting within the rank and file of the party and nepotism as some of the key issues chipping away President Peter Mutharika’s popularity.
A survey by Afrobarometer, a pan African think tank, earlier this year said if elections were held then, the DPP would lose to MCP.
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