Vice-President Saulos Chilima, who is also UTM leader, has confirmed that his party has started negotiations with Malawi Congress Party (MCP) for a possible alliance ahead of May 19 fresh presidential election.
Chilima’s sentiments on the alliance talks came barely a day after MCP National Executive Committee (Nec) announced that it had given the party’s president Lazarus Chakwera the mandate to lead talks with his UTM counterpart for a possible alliance.
Speaking during a rally he addressed at Mzuzu Stadium Upper Ground yesterday, Chilima said once they conclude the talks, the party will come back to inform its followers on the way forward.
Chilima then said any alliance must be in the best interest of Malawians and not just to attain the 50 percent-plus-one threshold of winning the presidency as clarified by the Constitutional Court on the meaning of majority vote.
“The 50 percent-plus one majority directive has, indeed, shaken up some parties that are now rushing into alliances just to continue ruling this country. But for us, any alliance forged must be in the best interest of Malawians with the sole purpose of uniting Malawians,” Chilima told the gathering.
Among other things, the UTM leader also called on the government to improve the livelihoods of ward councillors in the country and to support local businesses through contracts as one way of creating employment opportunities for Malawians.
Chakwera and Chilima were the second and first petitioners, respectively, in the presidential election results case which saw the court nullifying the May 21 2019 presidential election results on February 3 2020.
The court stated that the results of the election that indicated that Mutharika had won the presidency by 38 percent followed by Chakwera (35 percent) and Chilima 20 percent, were heavily compromised.
The court ordered fresh polls within 150 days from February 3 and directed that Parliament should come up with relevant legislation for the operationalisation of 50 percent-plus-one system.
A statement signed by MCP Publicity Secretary, Maurice Munthali, announced on Friday that the party’s Nec had resolved to give Chakwera full powers to negotiate with Chilima on a possible alliance.
“The move is also one way of harnessing the national gains that both parties have jointly cultivated throughout the period the court case was being heard,” the statement reads.
Recently, Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) and United Democratic Front announced an alliance based on “common principles of democracy and development”.
Eric Msikiti is a Senior Reporter/News Producer at Times Group. Though relatively young, Eric boasts years of experience in Malawi’s media industry.