Malawi opposition on campaign trail in anticipation of elections re-run

Malawi’s two main opposition political parties challenging the May 21, general elections’ results have indirectly embarked on campaign trail in anticipation of a “re-run” as the public is anxiously waiting for court ruling in a case in which the two parties want the results nullified.

Lazarus Chakwera, the President of Malawi Congress Party (MCP) and former Vice President Saulos Chilima, both contested in the polls challenge the Malawi Electoral Commission (MEC), against declaring incumbent President Peter Mutrharika of Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) a winner of the election, marred with several irregularities.

The two parties’ Presidents accuse MEC of favoring Mutharika during the polls, and have presented what they believe is massive evidence of rigging before the court which would start making its ruling on the matter on July 29.

But while the court is yet to make its determination on the case, the two parties are holding rallies where they both give their supporters hope of a re-run, and remind them about their manifestos.

Speaking at a rally in Malawi’s capital Lilongwe, the MCP President Chakwera said Malawians need to be concerned with rampant corruption and abuse of their taxes by the current administration.

“DPP days are numbered,” said Chakwera, “We shall never stop preaching that leadership should respect people not themselves, we need unity as a country in order to forge ahead, thefty and corruption should end.”

Chakwera who came second from Mutharika in the polls stressed on the need for the country to change its laws which he says mostly favor a few, specifically the ruling elite.

“These are not only campaign matters but issues to build our country,” said Chakwera who believes that votes were stolen from him in favor of Mutharika.
Speaking at the same rally, Joyce Banda, the country’s former President who partnered with Chakwerain the polls urged the people to vote for Chakwera in case of a re-run to bring sanity in government.

“We are going to vote shortly,” said Banda who was ousted by Mutharika in 2014. She claimed at the rally “rigging took place in the 2014 elections and it has happened again, the difference is that Malawians have refused this time.”

The award winning Malawi’s first female President who has been at par with the DPP administration since she lost power to Mutharika in 2014, told the masses “We should try our level best and ensure that Chakwera scores one million votes in Lilongwe city alone this time around.”

Speaking at a different rally held on the same day in Mangochi in southern Malawi, former Vice President Saulos Chilima assured the people that “servant leadership” is coming soon.

“Malawians now hope that the truth will be known by the court,” he said “but as we go forward, lets spread or remind people about our manifesto.
“We promised one million jobs to reduce unemployment among youths, we promised US$1400 loan for small scale businesses, improve salaries and working conditions of civil servants, reduce fertilizer price, ensure decent houses for everyone,” Chilima said.

The former Vice President who dumped the ruling DPP and formed his UTM in 2018, citing rampant corruption and poor governance won majority support of the youth and northern region of Malawi following his zero stance on corruption and sound development agenda.

He has on several occasions threatened to arrest of all current government and ruling party officials involved in corruption once he took over presidency.

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