By Burnett Munthali

One of Maravi Post contributors, Burnett Munthali is taking readers through political alliances, why they are formed and their challenges.

Political alliances
In politics, a political alliance, also known as a coalition or bloc, is cooperation by members of different political parties on a common agenda of some kind. This usually involves formal agreements between two or more entire parties.

Tonse alliance is failing apart

The common agenda of Tonse Alliance seems to have been based on just removing the DPP from power but did not have clear direction how they would move when they take over government. It was like a dream come true, Tonse was given the mantle but today’s newspaper headlines says, “Tonse partners feel sidelined.” The headline is telling us a story.

Government Formed By An Alliance

A coalition government is a form of government in which political parties cooperate to form a government.

The Seven Party Alliance Countries

The Seven Party Alliance was a coalition of seven Nepali political parties seeking to end autocratic rule in the country. They spearheaded the Loktantra Andolan. The alliance was made up of the following parties: Nepali Congress.

The UN An Alliance Or Coalition?

With the defeat of the Axis powers in 1945, the victorious Allies formed the United Nations (UN), a worldwide organization devoted to the principles of collective security and international cooperation.

Advantages Of Political Alliances

An alliance is usually especially beneficial to the parties concerned during and immediately after elections – due to characteristics of the electoral systems concerned (e.g. allowing each party to clear electoral thresholds) and/or allowing parties to participate in formation of a government after elections.

However, the Tonse alliance doesn’t seem to have participated fully in the formation of its cabinet. The MCP took a huge chunk of cabinet positions and many other positions not included in the cabinet.

Coalition Government

A coalition government is a form of government in which political parties cooperate to form a government.

Alliance In Contemporary World

Contemporary alliances provide for combined action on the part of two or more independent states and are generally defensive in nature, obligating allies to join forces if one or more of them is attacked by another state or coalition.

Disadvantages of coalition government

Disadvantages:
(i) It leads to instability of the government due to withdrawal of support by any political party may lead to fall of the government.

(ii) The President/ Prime Minister or the government remains vulnerable to pressure from its partners.

The UTM, a major political partner of the Tonse alliance has automatically withdrawn from the grouping and is repositioning itself. This is the party that made the Malawi Congress Party win the 2019 presidential elections court case and finally won the 2020 fresh presidential election.

The Perils Of Running A Coalition Government

Coalition governments are rife with conflicts among coalition partners, decision making becomes slow and that generally results in the fall of the government as the partners in the coalition fight to be in charge of the government.

Some individuals with political eyes saw the divisions in the Tonse alliance way back, during the appointment of the first cabinet.

The first Tonse cabinet did not come out as expected. A huge chunk was taken by the MCP and UTM got just peanuts of the share but it was surprising that Chilima remained silent. Well, that was a calculated move as he kept waiting for a great opportunity to come his way.

Advantages Of Coalition Government

Advantages of coalition of government are:

I. It eliminates the fear of dictatorship of one party like congress.

II. Different groups and regions are represented in the government due to various regional and smaller political parties.

However, this was not the case and it still is not the case in the Tonse administration.

Disadvantages of Coalition Government

A coalition government is a form of government in which political parties cooperate to form a government.

(i) It leads to instability of the government due to withdrawal of support by any political party may lead to fall of the government.

(ii) The President/ Prime Minister or the government remains vulnerable to pressure from its partners.

The UTM has just withdrawn itself from this alliance and is now creating pressure on the Tonse alliance when you follow its reaction on social media.

Limitations Of Coalition Government

  1. There is always conflict within the government due to non consensus.
  2. The decisions take a lot of time as each party must agree uniformly.

If you read the recent pastoral letters written by both the Catholic Church and CCAP Nkhoma Synod respectively, you will come across the issue of indecisiveness of the State President, Dr Lazarus Chakwera, being raised.

Disclaimer: The views expressed in the article are those of the author not necessarily of The Maravi Post or Editor

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