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Parties tipped on alliances

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By Yohane Symon:

Political parties in the country have been advised to consult and engage their respective grassroots supporters before entering into any electoral alliance ahead of next year’s tripartite elections.

This follows revelations that some United Democratic Front (UDF) and governing Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) supporters have welcomed the apparent collapse of the alliance between the two parties.

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Sources in the parties claim that the possibility of going to the polls in an alliance is almost zero.

Mzuzu-based social and political commentator, Moses Mkandawire, says where there is no information among party followers, there is a possibility of revolt in regards to electoral alliances.

A snap survey that we conducted among DPP and UDF supporters show that both supporters are happy that the alliance has not worked.

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“For the past four years, we have been working with DPP in Parliament but the President has only appointed our president [Atupele Muluzi] as a Cabinet minister. We expected the President to incorporate two or three UDF members of Parliament(MP) into his Cabinet to show appreciation for our support,” a UDF MP, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said.

The MP added that failure by the President to appoint more Cabinet ministers from UDF is an indication that the DPP-led government does not appreciate the support that UDF is providing.

Some DPP supporters also said they are not comfortable with Muluzi becoming President Peter Mutharika’s running mate for fear of eventually losing the leadership to UDF as Mutharika is serving his last term.

But Mkandiawire said all the concerns and reservations which the supporters have are as a result of poor consultations by their leaders.

“It is important that people are consulted before making alliances. It is not that everybody can agree with the alliances, but the majority should be heard. That is what democracy is all about. It is good that the two political parties now know how their supporters feel about their relationship,” Mkandawire said.

Recently, DPP publicity secretary, Nicholas Dausi, told our sister paper, Malawi News, that the relationship between the two parties is intact although Muluzi has been saying during political rallies that UDF will field its own presidential candidate next year.

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