Up your political game, parties told

Lazarus Chakwera

Attitudes of Malawians towards elections have come to light with the Afrobarometer survey which puts opposition Malawi Congress Party (MCP) to be favoured with votes but a local political scientist has urged political parties to use the survey as a wakeup call ahead of 2019 elections.

Wonderful Mkhutche
Wonderful Mkhutche: Government does not need to rush on this matter.

Though the hype is yet to be strong for 2019 polls, political scientist Wonderful Mkhutche has urged politicians to win the lost trust in elections by Malawians following the poor leadership the country has been having.

This follows a recommendation that Malawians are losing trust in elections due to poor leadership despite having premises of transforming the livelihood of the citizens.

“Such surveys are not an end in themselves. They look at people’s attitudes which are always subject to change. Government has passionately criticized the results because they are not in their favour. They must realize that even though today results may say they can lose, working on their failures can change the outcome. The survey may have told us who is leading in the race for power now, but in the next two years a lot can happen that will change the results in a dramatic way,” said Mkhutche.

He added by advising the MCP to end internal wrangles arguing they may make citizens lose trust to have it in power despite some positive changes it has made to regain favours since it was ousted during the first multiparty elections in 1994.

Peter Mutharika and Lazarus Chakwera
Mutharika (L)’s DPP and MCP led by Chakwera (R). get the caution. (File)

“MCP has been tipped to be winners should we have elections now. But as already said, 2019 is two years away, a lot can happen. The results should tell MCP that after over two decades out of power, people are ready to trust it with leadership. They have done a good job as the main opposition party, and penetrated the regions by establishing party structures. If they continue like this, and do away with internal squabbles that have recently characterized them, they will be able to gain power. People are once again ready to trust in MCP leadership,” he said.

Mkhutche added that the results that have shown the political status of the country need to be recommended arguing that Afrobarometer is a “credible” research institution.

The Afrobarometer survey also disclosed that citizens need electoral reforms that are to see Malawi having a change in the political atmosphere.