The Democratic Progressive Party presidential candidate, Peter Mutharikawould not entertain the slightest possibility of defeat in Malawi’s tripartite elections today(May 20) in.
Responding to a question on how he would handle defeat if he were to lose the country’s presidential elections whose results are expected to start trickling in this morning,(May 21) Mutharika, 74, did not hesitate to say: “I do not expect to lose.’’
When his answer seemed to surprise and tickle some of the reporters who interviewed him soon after he cast his vote at Goliath in Tylo, 65 kilometres South of Blantryre City,Mutharikaput on a stern face and said: “I am very serious about this. I mean we worked hard and we have overwhelming support, so we don’t expect to lose. In fact we expect a landslide victory”
Further queried about whether the anomalies that characterised the elections, ranging from late opening of polling stations to shortage of voter material in his strong hold of Blantyre and home base of Tyolo would not compromise his party’s election results, unfazed ,Mutharika said, “I hope not. No, I don’t really expect to lose”.
Mutharika who presented a strong and united family front as he arrived at Goaliath in the company of his two daughters, both accomplished lawyers living in the United States Of America much to the excitement of the public is the brother to the late Malawian president BinguwaMutharika, who died of heart attack two years ago.
The professor, former minister and advisor to BinguMutharikahopes to ride on the goodwill of the people who sent his brother to the statehouse in a landslide election victory in 2009.
Recently the Malawi presidential elections race was narrowed down to four main contenders from the initial 12.
The big four were Joyce Banda who ascended to the presidency in 2012 via a constitutional order after the death of President BinguWaMutharika, Lazarus Chakwera of the Malawi Congress Party and the youthful son of former president BakiliMluzi, Atupele of the United Democratic Front.
On the day of the elections analysts however said indicators on the ground were that Chakwera, a former Assemblies of God Bishop from the central region and Mutharika had distinguished themselves as the two front runners in this race which had all along been too close to call.
“Banda has been too tarnished by both the cash gate (fraud that involved manipulating govt. system by senior govt officials close to Banda to steal money) and the presidential jet abuse to win these elections. The people are angry with her. Muluzi is still a young man, his turn might come later, so the race has been left to Mutharika and Chakwera but Mutharika is slightly ahead because he enjoys as much support in the north as he does in the south whereas Chakwera did not campaign hard in the south and no one can win elections without the south because it has the bigger population of the country concentrated here” an analyst said today.
He further explained that one of the reasonsMutharika enjoys the northerners support is because his brother, Bingu commissioned the construction of the Chitipa- Karonga road much to the appreciation of the people in that area who had been asking for it from previous governments without success.
The former president died before the road was completed but apparently the people are grateful because although it is a short stretch of road, it was impassable and that legacy can only improve Mutharika’s chances in the north.
Meanwhile by end of this week ,speculation will come to an end as Malawi announces and installs a new president, for better or for worse, it will be the people’s choice and they will have to live with it for the next five years.