Joyce Banda Declares Presidential Bid

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Immediate past president and leader of People’s Party (PP) Joyce Banda  wants to give the country’s top job another shot by contesting in the May 21 2019 elections and  her party has ruled out that she would play second fiddle in any electoral combination.

There has been fevered speculation that PP would consider working with other parties for an electoral alliance.

PP has been linked with UTM of Vice-President Saulos Chilima after Banda was supportive of UTM’s pledge to create one million jobs within the first 12 months in office if elected in the May 21 2019 Tripartite Elections and met the country’s second-in-command for talks.

Chilima publicly acknowledged the endorsement for the possibility to create a million jobs as made by Banda, saying she shares “a common vision” with UTM and described the former president as “one of the positive thinking Malawians who believes that nothing is impossible.”

But Banda refused to commit herself to any talks of a possible alliance, insisting that her stand on one million jobs was based on promises her then governing PP made in its 2014 election manifesto.

Meanwhile, PP spokesman Ackson Kalaile Banda, has stressed that Banda will be on the presidential ballot as torch bearer of the PP.

“She is our presidential candidate who was duly elected at the convention,” said Kalaile Banda.

And speaking at a political rally she addressed at Chiwenga in Lilongwe, Banda spoke clearly as a serious presidential contender, saying she has solutions to the unemployment and power outages Malawi is facing under the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) administration.

Banda has promised to take Malawi to greater heights if given the opportunity to serve again, explaining that DPP has failed the country.

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On electricity, Banda said she would solve the problem once and for all within a short period of time and that she would increase power generation in the country.

“Everyone knows that when it comes to electricity challenges, I am the only person who has the solutions. I have a record on that; once voted into power next year, within 100 days I will deal with the electricity problem and blackouts will be history.

“We will increase power generation with 3,000 megawatts and this will boost the energy sector and the country’s economy,” Banda assured.

A recent survey revealed that Banda is the “most trusted” political leader in Malawi.

Malawi’s Institute of Public Opinion Research (Ipor), said Banda was leading in being a trustworthy politician ahead of the current president Peter Mutharika and other political party leaders.

The survey showed that Banda received only 32% trust rating.

“Despite the fact that Joyce Banda has lost popularity with 5% popular rating by the survey, many Malawians are still able to remember that in terms of fulfilling her promises comparatively to the current president [Mutharika], she seems to score highly,” governance expert and commentator Makhumbo Munthali  told Nyasa Times.

Banda – only the second woman to lead a country in Africa – was in August re-elected as PP  leader to lead it into next year’s national elections.

As political parties readies for next year’s elections, the PP gave Banda the mandate to attempt to wrestle power from Mutharika’s DPP, to whom she lost the 2014 elections.

Banda founded the PP in 2011 after splitting from the DPP. Nyasa times

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