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Peter Mutharika says no to debate

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Mgeme Kalilani

President Peter Mutharika has rejected Malawi Congress Party (MCP) president Lazarus Chakwera’s proposal that those vying for the office of president at the forthcoming court-ordered election should battle it out in a debate ahead of the poll.

Speaking through his spokesperson Mgeme Kalilani, Mutharika said he has nothing to prove in political debates.

“Professor Arthur Peter Mutharika has nothing to prove to Chakwera. He has already beaten him twice at the ballot. He is going to beat him again for the third time, debate or no debate,” Kalilani said.

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At a political rally he held at Kapiri in Mchinji on Sunday, Chakwera said the issue-based debate would help Malawians to choose a better leader in the fresh presidential election.

The June 23 poll will pit Mutharika against Chakwera and Peter Kuwani of the Mbakuwaku Movement for Development.

“By the way, where is Mutharika? How I wish a political debate was organised for us to express our development agenda to Malawians,” Chakwera said.

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Last year, a series of presidential debates were organised by Misa Malawi. Mutharika did not participate in the debates.

Misa Malawi Chairperson, Teresa Ndanga, said Monday presidential debates are crucial in helping the electorate appreciate the quality of leaders they would be voting for.

Ndanga said Malawians could only make informed choices during the election when they hear ideas and arguments from all sides involved.

“This year, looking at the time and resource constraints, we will not be able to organise the presidential debates. But we will still engage the various presidential candidates on a number of issues, including media freedom, the Access to Information Act and others,” Ndanga said.

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