Despite many political parties registering to compete in the 2019 tripartite elections, one of the country’s social and political commentators sees a two horse race.
The commentator Onjezani Kenani said he only sees the ruling Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) and main opposition Malawi Congress Party (MCP) competing for the presidency in 2019.
“The competition will be between the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) and the Malawi Congress Party (MCP). Battle lines have hardened and any new entrant will have a zero chance of beating these two,” said Kenani.
He however noted that the winner between the two will be the party that will resolve its weaknesses.
Kenani said if the ruling DPP wants to win the coming elections, it must convince people that it still has a vision for a better Malawi as people are wondering why, only now, towards the end of its rule, the DPP government is laying foundation stones.
He wondered where the party has been all these four years and suggested that the stones are aimed at deceiving Malawians that the government is trying to do something about development in the country.
Kenani added that the ruling DPP can lose the elections due to unfulfilled promises.
He mentioned promises to expand manufacturing, to produce and export non-traditional agricultural and industrial products, to develop tourism and to double exports in the first five years, all of which have not been fulfilled.
“So DPP will have to find a way of telling Malawians why it did such a bad job in trying to implement its own promises,” he said.
On MCP, the commentator said the party has its best shot at taking over power in 2019 although complacency can make it fail.
He noted that there are indications of lack of internal democracy and tolerance of dissenting voices within MCP since anybody who has said anything the top leaders disagree with has been treated as an enemy.
Kenani said the coming in of Sidik Mia, while awakening the party in the South, risks irritating the North, especially since it seems to lead to the isolation of Speaker and party vice president Richard Msowoya.
“Politics is a game of numbers. While the party’s support in the centre is considered solid, the centre alone is not enough to carry it across the finishing line. Even if the Lower Shire decides to follow Mia and support MCP en masse, MCP will need the North, and alienating it now would be a big mistake. How the party addresses this will make or break its chances of victory,” he said.
Kenani concluded by saying that Malawians are sick and tired of voting out one set of thieves only to replace them with another claiming if MCP tackles suspicious government dealings in a selective manner, the people will not see the difference between the rebranded MCP and the ruling DPP.