At least 15 political parties have so far collected nomination forms to contest for presidency in the May 20Tripartite Elections, beating the 2009 general elections which had seven candidates, a source told The Nation.
If all the 15 political parties field presidential candidates, it will be a record for Malawi, which has 54 registered political parties.
Malawi Congress Party (MCP), People’s Party (PP) and Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) confirmed to The Nation on Tuesday that they have collected presidential nomination forms and have all ruled out forming alliances.
DPP secretary general Jean Kalilani said the party is ready.
“We are ready for the fight and we will win,” she declared. “We will go it alone. We have not discussed any possible alliances at the moment.”
MCP spokesperson Jessie Kabwila also confirmed that the party has collected nomination forms for Lazarus Chakwera.
PP secretary general Paul Maulidi said: “Yes, we have collected the forms. We are ready for the showdown.”
Maulidi denied that the party is in an alliance with Aford [the Alliance for Democracy] whose chairperson Enock Chihana is in the Cabinet of President Joyce Banda.
“So far, we are not in any alliance. Aford wants to enter into an alliance, but we have not formalised anything,” he said.
UDF director of elections Harold Nkozomba also confirmed that the party has collected nomination forms for its president Atupele Muluzi.
He said the party is currently fulfilling requirements in filling in the form. He also stated that the party is not in an alliance at the moment.
The People’s Progressive Movement (PPM) also collected the nomination forms, but would only be filled in a presidential candidate after the party’s convention on Thursday.
PPM publicist Redson Munlo said the party will contest the presidency.
Petra secretary general Steven Kamwendo and Umodzi Party (UP) said their respective parties were ready to collect the forms and will contest the presidency.
“Definitely I am contesting for the presidency,” said UP president Professor John Chisi.
But the Malawi Forum for Unity and Development (Mafunde) has hinted that the party will go into an electoral alliance with five other parties which will field one presidential candidate.
The parties are collecting the forms from the Centre for Multiparty Democracy (CMD), but its executive director Kizito Tenthani would not discuss the names and number of political parties that have collected the presidential nomination forms.
Collection of nomination papers started on January 16 2014 and runs up to February 14.
Submission of the nomination papers will be done from February 10 to February 14 2014 to the Malawi Electoral Commission at the Chichiri International Conference Centre in Blantyre.
Former president the late Bingu wa Mutharika won the 2009 presidential race which saw his main opponent John Tembo of MCP coming second.
Other aspirants were Kamuzu Chibambo of People’s Transformation Party (Petra), the late Stanley Masauli of Republican Party, Loveness Gondwe of the New Rainbow Coalition, James Mbowe Nyondo an independent and the late Dindi Gowa Nyasulu of Alliance for Democracy.