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UTM: We can talk to DPP

STRANGE BED FELLOWS?—Mutharika and Chilima

As the countdown to the presidential election, as ordered by the Constitutional Court earlier this week continues, Malawi News has established that UTM, led by Vice President Saulos Chilima, are ready to talk to anyone, including the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) for a possible electoral alliance.

Lately on social media there have been warming up posts from supporters of the two parties, saying “there is no permanent enemy in politics”.

The reports of possible discussions between DPP and UTM come against what most people are hoping for, following the unity that was displayed by Chilima and leader of the Malawi Congress Party (MCP) Lazarus Chakwera during the time the two sought the Constitutional Court’s nullification of the May 21.

“In any political party issues of alliances are part of wheeling and dealing but at the same time every day in politics is like a new year so we have months how about we cross the bridge when we get there,” he said.

On the other hand, while MCP has opened up its doors for what they describe as developmental alliance, the party’s secretary general Eisenhower Mkaka said they cannot form an alliance with DPP.

“As a political party we started preparing for the ordered fresh elections the moment the court ruled like that. In terms of alliance, you can always refer to what our party president said during the celebratory address he conducted on Tuesday. Obviously not DPP,” he said.

Chancellor College based political analyst Mustapha Hussein said while it may not be surprising that these two parties are contemplating on possible alliance discussions, they ought to tread careful with their supporters.

“Well, we are yet to see how this will end, it is well and good as long as there is clarity on the objectives. It will not be surprising because we know the leader of the UTM came from DPP.

“However, there is need for both sides to consult their supporters otherwise if it is only done at the top without input or without the blessings of the supporters then it might be a weak alliance and some may end up leaving the parties. We expect more stories of such alliances as we move close to the time the court ordered for fresh elections,” he said.

During the campaign for the May 21 2019 elections, both MCP and UTM went to town castigating the DPP leadership, arguing it is a government that is marred by corruption, nepotism, tribalism and “thieves”.

On Monday, the Constitutional Court sitting in Lilongwe annulled President Peter Mutharika’s May 21 2019 re-election for what the court described as widespread, systematic and grave irregularities.

Malawi Electoral Commission (Mec) had declared Mutharika winner of the polls.

Mec announced that Mutharika (DPP) got 1,940,709 votes, representing 38.57 percent of votes cast, while Chakwera (MCP) got 1,781,740 votes, representing 35.41 percent.

Chilima (UTM) came third after getting 1,018,369 votes, translating into 20.24 percent of votes counted.

Chilima and Chakwera challenged Mec’s decision to declare Mutharika the winner of the May 21 2019 presidential election, saying the election results were marred by irregularities.

Meanwhile, during his national address on Wednesday night, President Mutharika said he would appeal against the judgment but will not stop the ordered fresh elections.

Chilima fell out of grace with Mutharika when it was alleged that he was positioning himself for the party’s presidency.

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