November 2, 2003

Government of national unity troubled by forthcoming elections

The alliance between the ruling United Democratic Front (UDF) and the Alliance for Democracy (AFORD) continues to cause problems in both parties. This has been revealed after some members of the UDF Northern Region Executive Committee in Mzuzu had met President Bakili Muluzi to voice their dissatisfaction with current developments. They complained that AFORD-President Chakufwa Chihana was getting “first class preferential treatment” from Muluzi, a move which they said was splitting the party in the northern region and that disgruntled UDF anti-Chihana supporters were joining the National Democratic Alliance (NDA) as a result.

Political commentators have expressed doubts as to whether the government of national unity that AFORD and UDF are sharing will to stand the test of time following revelations that some AFORD members have declared that they are not going to vote for Bingu wa Mutharika, the preferred Muluzi candidate in the forthcoming elections, if Chihana is not going to become Bingu's running mate. "We are only going to vote for our own Members of Parliament if Chihana is not going to be made Bingu's running mate because that is the only way that we can be sure that some of our MPs are going to be given ministerial posts in the next government," said Moses Gondwe, AFORD district executive committee member in Karonga. (The Chronicle Newspaper, Lilongwe)

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