DPP, UDF back to negotiation


By Rebecca Chimjeka:

President Peter Mutharika has intensified his bid to reclaim the presidency in May 21 elections by engaging a number of partners he thinks will help Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) remain in power.

Malawi News has established that, on December 30 2018, Mutharika held talks with United Democratic Front (UDF) leader Atupele Muluzi with an aim of strategising on how the two parties can formally work together in the Presidential, Parliamentary and Local Government elections.


 “It is not true. I am not involved. I have never been involved in any negotiations of that sort. I don’t even know that there are negotiations going on,” Tembenu said.

Presidential Press Secretary Mgeme Kalilani told Malawi News that he has no information on that alleged meeting.

“We have seen such allegations on social media for over a month or so now; so maybe it is just one of those things,” Kalilani said.


Recently, Malawi News reported that the two parties were failing to reach a consensus on a possible political alliance ahead of May 21 Tripartite Elections.

But the two parties downplayed the problems, insisting it was too early to conclude alliances then six months before elections.

A source from UDF said, among other issues that have caused the fallout between the two parties, is the same issue of fielding of DPP candidates in areas deemed to be strongholds for UDF.

“The relationship is very bad now, to the extent that it’s almost 99 percent doomed. Atupele Muluzi will contest alone during the coming elections. The main issue being fielding of DPP candidates in their stronghold, the Eastern Region,” said the source.

A source from DPP corroborated with the other source saying in every negotiation there are challenges.

“In situations where there are negotiations, it is an either-or situation, so two parties either agree or not. So, it is not strange that the negotiations did not work out,” said the source.

Muluzi has held various ministerial positions since DPP assumed power in 2014.

In 1994 polls, UDF entered into a coalition with other political parties. In 1999 and 2004, the party contested without partnering any political grouping. In 2009, UDF partnered MCP while DPP contested alone in its maiden appearance on the ballot paper. In 2014, both DPP and UDF contested without partnership.

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