By Robert Kumwenda
Chairperson for Malawi Electoral Commission (MEC) Justice Dr Jane Ansah when he was announcing results of the by elections which were held in three constituencies and three wards on 17 October 2017 told political parties to follow principles of democracy which among others is holding convention and building structures on the ground.
As of to date, it is only the United Democratic Front (UDF) Alliance for Democracy (AFORD) ruling Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) Umodzi Party and the main opposition Malawi Congress Party (MCP) that have come out openly to say that they will hold their conventions before end of this year as required according to the principles.
It is sad to see that out of forty six political parties that were registered with MEC that will compete for the tripartite elections slated for 21 May 2019 only five are active on the ground.
President for Umodzi Party Professor John Chisi said that he is confident that his party will do well because they have built structures on the ground and people are joining the party on daily basis from other political parties because of its policies which are education, employment and justice for all.
Though other political parties says that are geared to contest in next year’s election but they are mum as to when they will hold their conventions to elect people that will represent their parties in the elections.
They need to emulate what Umodzi Party and other political parties have done by coming out with their manifestos so that the electorate should have ample time of looking and analyzing what they have to offer if voted into power to make the right choice.
Perhaps they are deliberately doing this to copy from what their fellow political parties wants to do, looking at time it is high time they start building their structures before it is too late. It is reported that the country has about fifty six political parties.