After the election of May 2014, Onjezani Kenani wrote an excellent article: “Ten Mistakes that Cost JB the Presidency”. In it are vital lessons for the DPP. While incumbency is indeed powerful, we have lessons from Kamuzu, JB and elsewhere (Rupiah Banda, Goodluck Jonathan, John Mahama) that it is an advantage that can be lost.
Over the last 6 months, the DPP has not acted like a party willing to regain power or win a very crucial election. The absence of a well-organized and concerted plan to set the agenda and present itself as a party for the future is evidence of complacency or lack of an appropriate response plan to the opposition.
Last month’s IPOR survey results told how fragile the DPP’s hold on power is. The DPP’s polling numbers were marginally positive. Should MCP, UTM, PP continue with their onslaught, or agree on a coalition, it could spell doom for the DPP.
No political party is too big, or too important, to fail. Nothing is guaranteed, even for a party in power. Importantly, the coming election is going to be decided by over 3.5 million young voters. Week in, week out, these young voters are hearing from and watching parties who seem far hungrier to win their vote, while DPP is in seeming inertia.
Of course, the DPP has the means to quickly reactivate its massive machinery. It can organize, marshall its forces and resources, and start setting a ubiquitous elections agenda. When that happens, we will have an interesting campaign on our hands.