DPP, UDF union hits the rocks

The Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) and United Democratic Front (UDF) are failing to reach a consensus on a possible political alliance ahead of May 21 2019 Tripartite Elections, Malawi News has established.

But the two parties have downplayed the problems, insisting it is too early to conclude alliances six months before elections.

Two sources from UDF and DPP, who corroborated each other but opted for anonymity because they do not speak for the parties, said some

According to Malawi News, senior members from the two parties had a meeting where, among others, they discussed a possible alliance on condition that UDF is given the second vice-presidency now.

“They had formed a team of three members from each side. UDF wants the second vice-presidency now and five ministers in the Cabinet as well as the running mate position sealed and that President Peter Mutharika must sign for it. They also asked that DPP must not feature any candidate in Machinga and Mangochi and two constituencies in Zomba,”the source said.

According to the source, DPP was, however, reluctant on the position of the second vice-presidency.

“They asked for about three constituencies which among them were Machinga Likwenu whose aspiring Member of Parliament is Minister of Education Bright Msaka and Mangochi Monkey Bay which belongs to Ralph Jooma.

DPP accepted the five ministerial positions but asked if the second vice- presidency would be given after the general elections and not now.

“The following day, President Peter Mutharika reshuffled his Cabinet and there was no any extra minister from UDF. This annoyed the UDF team and a senior member of the party ordered the team not to be part of the discussions anymore,” the source said.

The two sources said Atupele Muluzi, leader of UDF, will hint more about this issue during the two rallies he is expected to hold over the weekend in Balaka.

DPP publicity secretary Nicholas Dausi, while downplaying the talks on a possible alliance, said closer to an election people are bound to make a lot of suggestions.

“What you and I know is that DPP and UDF work together in Parliament and we have been doing this for some time. As regards political alliances, it’s neither here nor there but six months ahead of the elections, people will be subjected to giving a lot of opinions.

“It is something we appreciate, maybe people want us to have a long enduring relationship despite our adversaries wanting us to separate but we have been working together all this while,” he said.

Dausi could neither confirm nor deny if the two parties have been meeting.“I do not have the information of the meetings, just give me time to consult. As of now, what I can say is this is Greek to me,” he said.

UDF publicity secretary Ken Ndanga denied the alliance reports arguing, as at now, it is too early to conclusively talk about an alliance.

“We cannot talk about any alliance when we have not been approached by any political party and when we have also not approached any political party for an alliance. We have always heard about those reports but now its about four or five years people have talked about UDF being swallowed, all sorts of things, we just watch the truth of the matter that there is nothing like an alliance, if they’ll be an alliance, we will make it public.

“The problem with you people is that you are only talking about UDF and DPP like that is the only alliance, as if it is written in heaven that we will have an alliance with DPP. We can work alone or make an alliance with any party,” he said.

University of Malawi’s Chancellor College-based political analyst Mustapha Hussein described the situation as worrisome arguing the two parties have worked together for the past five years.

“It will be very unfortunate if the relationship continues to go sour because, in view of the political development, particularly the coming in of UTM and how Malawi Congress Party is conducting itself, there is need for some consolidation in the Southern Region.

‘The relationship between UDF and DPP was giving hope that, through their unity, they can consolidate the vote in the Southern Region. If there is fallout between the two, that will be a sad development because what it means is that the opposition can make gains from the fallout of the two,” he said.

Muluzi, who is currently Minister of Health, has held various ministerial positions since DPP assumed power in 2014.

In 1994 polls, UDF entered into a coalition with other political parties. In 1999 and 2004, the party contested without partnering any political grouping. In 2009, UDF partnered MCP while DPP contested alone in its maiden appearance on the ballot paper. In 2014, both DPP and UDF contested without partnership.

NBS Bank Your Caring Bank