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MCP dismisses alliance talk

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By Mandy Pondani:

Main opposition Malawi Congress Party (MCP) has refuted reports that it has engaged other political parties for a possible alliance ahead of the 2019 tripartite elections.

MCP publicity secretary, Maurice Munthali, Thursday said while MCP President, Lazarus Chakwera, is at liberty to talk to leaders of other political parties in the country, it is wrong to mistake such interactions for official electoral alliance engagements.

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“There is nothing on the table in terms of alliances. There is nothing being discussed by Malawi Congress Party along those lines. As such, there is nothing like having or making a stand on something that is not there.

“Suffice to say that our president is not restricted from talking and interacting with other party leaders and that should not be taken as party-to-party courtship,” Munthali said.

He said the party has done groundwork and is confident of victory when it goes solo.

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“The message we are getting from Malawians is that we are the only party that can redeem them from all the agonies they are facing. In that vein, we are very confident that, if we go solo, we would make it. If any party wants an alliance with us, it should come officially and not through the social media,” Munthali said.

Over the past week, reports have been rife that MCP has been courting UTM, former ruling People’s Party (PP), among others, for a possible alliance.

Following the reports, various senior MCP members have been speaking on various platforms, expressing their reservations on the matter.

MCP director of elections, Moses Kunkuyu, told a youth conference in Mzuzu City that his party cannot enter into an alliance with UTM, describing it as a carbon copy of the ruling Democratic Progressive Party (DPP).

Kunkuyu said DPP and UTM are planning an alliance so as to split votes.

PP spokesperson, Ackson Kalaile Banda, Thursday said their leadership has not deliberated on possible electoral alliances but it is open to talk to other parties that share ideologies with them.

Just like Munthali, Banda said their president, Joyce Banda, meets various politicians in her capacity as former president, but said PP leadership is the final decider on a coalition.

Despite its leader Saulos Chilima hinting on such an agreement ahead of the elections, UTM spokesperson, Joseph Chidanti- Malunga, has kept mum on the matter.

Apparently, various quarters continue to express scepticism over possibility of MCP-UTM-PP partnership.

Veteran politician Dan Msowoya said there would be need for a strong force of many parties to oust the DPP, following the Institute of Public Opinion and Research survey which tipped the Peter Mutharika-administration to win the next year’s elections.

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