Chilima “agrees” to become Chakwera’s runningmate

Progress has been made in the UTM and Malawi Congress Party (MCP) alliance talks as UTM president Saulos Chilima has agreed to become Lazarus Chakwera’s runningmate in the fresh presidential elections.

According to the Daily Times newspaper, a deal was reached on Saturday after talks between teams from the two parties.

The two parties are now expected to announce their alliance this week at a joint press conference.

Commenting on the issue, MCP spokesperson Maurice Munthali urged Malawians to pray so that there should be a positive outcome from the alliance talks.

“At an opportune time Malawians will be told he outcome of the talks,” said Munthali.

The remarks were echoed by UTM Secretary General Patricia Kaliati who said the outcome of the alliance talks will be known at an appropriate time.

Last month, the Constitutional Court nullified the 2019 elections and ordered Malawi Electoral Commission to hold fresh elections.

The court also ruled that the winner in presidential elections should get 50 percent plus one vote of the votes cast, saying this is the true meaning of the term “majority of the electorate”.

The ruling forced UTM which is led by Saulos Chilima and the MCP to start talks over a possible alliance with the hope that the alliance will be voted for by the majority of electorates in the 2020 fresh elections.

Chilima and Chakwera were both on the ballot in the 2019 presidential elections where Chakwera amassed 1,781,740 votes while Chilima got 1,018,369.

Chilima’s runningmate in the 2019 elections, Michael Usi, said last month that he is ready to step aside.

On Saturday, MCP Vice President Sidik Mia, who was Chakwera’s runningmate in the 2019 elections, also gave Chakwera blessings to choose another person as runningmate ahead of the fresh elections.