… Says race between Chakwera, Chilima and APM
Twenty presidential aspirants have collected nomination papers for the May 21 elections but a political analyst expects the number to decline.
Political analyst Ernest Thindwa of the University of Malawi said some of the aspirants will definitely end their presidential bids as the elections approaches.
Thindwa added that the competition for the presidency is between President Peter Mutharika of Democratic Progressive Party (DPP), Malawi Congress Party leader Lazarus Chakwera and Vice President Saulos Chilima of UTM.
“The real competition for the presidential race, in my opinion, would be among MCP, DPP and UTM. The other parties don’t stand a chance. The motivation for the many aspiring candidates in collecting the nomination papers could be the need for publicity and also attracting the attention of other parties that might wish to go for an electoral alliance,” Thindwa told The Nation.
According to Malawi Electoral Commission (MEC), by close of business on Thursday, January 24, 2019, twenty candidates had collected nomination papers with an intention to contest for office of the President on May 21, 2019
The candidates include former President Joyce Banda of People’s Party, Minister of Health Atupele Muluzi and former vice president Dr Cassim Chilumpha of Tikonze Peoples Movement (TPM).
Others are Democratic People’s Congress’ Chris Daza, United Independence Party’s Chimbuna Belekiah, Peter DSD Kuwani of Mbakuwaku Movement for Development, John Chisi of Umodzi Party, Alliance for Democracy’s Enock Chihana, Loudon Malingamoyo Phiri (National Salvation Front) and Sally Kumwenda Yadwad of Leadership with Compassion.
The list also include seven independent candidates: Henry Jailos Mbewe, Smart Swira, Pastor Baxter Boyd Natulu and Ras Chikomeni David Chirwa, Reverend D.Kaliya, Florence Fulayi and Rhodrick Makhambera.
The collection of nomination papers by presidential aspirants started on 3rd January and will end on 8th February, 2019.