Desperate SKC From PP To UDF:UTM Alliance With UDF Collapses
It’s official. People’s Party have withdrawn from an electoral alliance with Saulos Chilima and his UTM.
But hours after that rejection and painfully aware that he cannot win the election on his own, Chilima this morning hastily initiated talks with Atupele Muluzi for an alliance. We can confirm that those talks too have collapsed as Atupele has rejected the terms Chilima was offering.
Chilima and Joyce Banda announced formation of an alliance last week. One of the major terms was that Chilima who would be the presidential candidate for the alliance would pick a People’s Party official – Joyce Banda, Roy Kachale or Ibrahim Matola – as running mate.
However, Chilima changed tune and decided to pick a running mate from elsewhere. That has led to People’s Party withdrawing from the alliance immediately as they concluded that Chilima cannot be trusted. The party has made an official announcement of the withdrawal in a statement signed by the party’s spokesperson Ackson Banda.
The other reason the PP-UTM alliance has failed is that Chilima is facing a fierce rebellion from his inner circle that he did not consult on the alliance. Since the formation of the two-day alliance, there have been protests from the officials and followers because it was Chilima’s unilateral decision to strike the alliance with PP.
Following the collapse of the alliance, Chilima hastily arranged another alliance talks with Atupele Muluzi today. We can also reveal that the talks were brokered by Archbishop Thomas Msusa of the Catholic Church.
However, the talks have hit the wall as Atupele has refused the terms which Chilima put on the table. Chilima wanted Atupele to be his running mate but Atupele turned this down. His argument is that UTM does not have structures and cannot be the party to provide a presidential candidate in such an alliance.
In addition, the talks have also collapsed because some bishops in the Catholic Church have refused to support Archbishop Msusa in his brokering of the alliance.
Meanwhile, talks between DPP and UDF alliance hang in the balance due to Atupele’s failure to make a decision on his own. Atupele who has been cabinet minister in the DPP government since 2014 has been discussing with DPP for an electoral alliance. But every time they agree terms, his father and former president Bakili Muluzi changes the terms – for his own motives.
It is still not clear how things will proceed for Atupele, now that submission of nominations for presidential candidates has begun.