Malawi opposition parties should forget about 2019 elections as a credible insititution has predicted that Mutharika will carry the day again.
the second year running, the London-headquartered Economic Intelligence Unit (EIU) has predicted that President Peter Mutharika will win the elections in 2019.
“The president, Peter Mutharika, is expected to remain in power, as his rivals are too divided to mount an effective challenge,” reads EIU’s review generated on March 30, 2017.
The EIU made the same prediction in a similar report released in March last year.
The EIU says it expects Mutharika and the DPP to remain in power throughout the forecast period, securing re-election in the 2019 election.
It says Joyce Banda’s recent announcement that she would return to the Peoples Party leadership does not threaten Mutharika.
It says regardless of which party
Joyce Banda represents “we consider Ms Banda’s electoral prospects to be relatively bleak.”
The EIU says in the minds of voters, Banda still represents an era of Malawian politics that is characterised by corruption.
“Moreover, after the prolonged absence of its leader, the PP will struggle to mobilise the party
machinery to effectively challenge the DPP….
“We maintain our view that the incumbent, Peter Mutharika, is the favourite ahead of
the 2019 presidential election, regardless of whether Ms Banda returns to politics,” it says.
It also notes that fierce
divisions in MCP weaken its ability to put up a serious electoral threat while Moses Kunkuyu’s Transformation Alliance does not have enough organisational status to give it a chance in 2019.
Opposition political parties may resort to take advantage of their numerical advantage in Parliament to attempt to sabotage government business.
However, the EIU says, they would struggle to secure the support base that
would enable them to dislodge Mutharika from power come 2019.
It further adds that Malawi’s famed stability is not under threat, although low public confidence in public institutions and a shaky political landscape will continue to frustrate the needed political and economic reform.
It also forecasts that while political volatility may heighten in the run up to and immediately after the elections in 2019 – as has been the case in precious election periods – election-related volatility is unlikely to seriously threaten Malawi’s underlying stability.
According to EIU, Malawi’s democratic processes are reasonably well-established. Because of this attempts to scale any unrest up to a level that could challenge the Mutharika government’s hold on power are unlikely.