The country’s main political parties have intensified political rallies in various places nationwide, with a political analyst saying the parties want to prepare the electorate for the Constitutional Court outcome.
The parties, which include the governing Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) and its May 21 2019 Tripartite Elections main contenders Malawi Congress Party (MCP) and UTM Party,have been holding various rallies.
The High Court of Malawi, sitting as a Constitutional Court hearing the presidential election case in which UTM Party and Malawi Congress Party (MCP) leaders Saulos Chilima and Lazarus Chakwera, respectively, are seeking nullification of the May 21 2019 presidential election, is expected to deliver its ruling within 45 days from December 20 last year.
In an interview yesterday, UTM Party director of publicity Joseph Chidanti-Malunga said the party has lined up a number of political rallies across the country to continue selling its manifesto to the people.
He said holding political rallies now is the right time to remind the electorate of the party’s development plans.
Said Chidanti-Malunga: “During the elections period, you race against time and we feel this is a good time to sell our party manifesto without rushing for anything. As we are talking, we are in Chitipa reminding our party members that our dream still leaves on, no matter how long it may take.”
But his DPP conterpart Nicholas Dausi, while confirming that his party has a number of political rallies scheduled from February 1, declined to reveal the agenda.
He said: “We can’t preempt what message we have for people during the rallies. Malawians voted for multiparty democracy and this means that everybody is free to hold political rallies. That is what we are doing.”
In an interview with The Nation last week, MCP deputy director of strategic planning Ken Kandodo said the party conducts rallies from time to time in all the regions and will continue to do so.
He said one of the objectives is to meet with its supporters, to find out what is happening on the ground and transmit the message from the party leadership.
However, reacting to the political rallies, a Chancellor College-based political scientist Ernest Thindwa observed that ideally, political parties need to be active throughout, reaching out to their constituencies which has not been the case in Malawi in previous years.
He assumed that the situation has changed this time around because parties want to prepare their supporters for the presidential election case outcome.
Said Thindwa: “We should be aware that the presidential election case ruling can go either way, so parties would want to maintain some kind of touch base with the electorate. Parties may be anticipating that in the event that there is a rerun, “we should not like starting from point zero”. Chilima as first petitioner and Chakwera second petitioner filed a petition in the Constitutional Court seeking nullification of the May 21 2019 presidential election results. They cite alleged flaws in the results management process as a key factor for their case.