By Rebecca Chimjeka:
According to the party’s secretary general, Ibrahim Matola, People’s Party (PP) will support the candidature of Malawi Congress Party (MCP) president Lazarus Chakwera.
The announcement was made at a joint press conference PP and MCP held in Lilongwe Thursday.
“This decision has been reached after having Malawi’s greater and common good. Malawi is bigger than individuals. As such, we all have to set aside individual aspirations and embrace the greater common good,” Matola said.
He also revealed that discussions between the two parties started in 2015 when Banda was still in self-imposed exile in the United States.
“The details of the endorsement will be announced jointly once Rt. Hon Dr Lazarus Chakwera returns from overseas,” Matola said.
MCP secretary general Eisenhower Mkaka said it was good that the former president would support Chakwera in the elections.
“We are happy that Dr. Joyce Banda has endorsed Right Honourable Lazarus Chakwera. This is a good development,” Mkaka said.
The partnership has been announced less than two months after the PP’s alliance with UTM crumbled due to disagreements on choice of running mate.
Political commentator, Mustapha Hussein has said it is clear that all Banda wants is to see Mutharika losing the elections.
“It is not surprising for Banda to make the decision. She does not care what happens to her party as long as APM [Arthur Peter Mutharika] loses. Politics is a game of numbers,” Hussein said.
Banda’s move has the potential to swing the political pendulum if results of 2014 presidential elections are anything to go by.
In the elections, MCP and PP got a combined 2,512,116 votes, with the former coming second with 1,445,880 votes while the latter came third after amassing 1,056, 238 votes. Democratic Progressive Party’s Peter Mutharika won the elections with 1,904,339 votes.