BY TROUBLE ZIBA
FEBRUARY 5, MANA: UTM President, Saulos Chilima says he is ready to enter into coalition with any political party in the country as long as the prime agenda is to serve the people of Malawi.
Chilima, who was reinstated as the country’s vice president on Monday following the Constitutional Court’s nullification of the May 21, 2019 presidential election results, was speaking at a press conference in Lilongwe on Wednesday.
He made the remarks as he was answering a question from a journalist on whether he was ready to go into a coalition with other political parties in an election the court pronounced to be conducted within 150 days from the day of the ruling (Monday).
“If the agenda of the coalition is to serve Malawi and move the country forward, I am ready to join. But if the aim is to share positions [in government], then I am not ready,” he said.
He further said in party coalitions, leaders or positions should not be a prime factor, but the agenda to move the country forward.
On the role he would play following his reinstatement to his former position, Chilima said he was ready to help in shaping the future of Malawi by working with State President Prof. Arthur Mutharika, MCP President Lazarus Chakwera, and other political parties and stakeholders.
He said he holds no grudges against anybody and would want to help build a bright Malawi.
“We need to move forward as a country. Demonstrations have caused enough destruction to property and lives and now we need to move forward,” said Chilima, apparently referring to a series of demonstrations in the aftermath of the May 21, 2019 elections.
The demonstrations, led by Human Rights Defenders Coalition (HRDC) which aimed at forcing Malawi Electoral Commission Chairperson, Jane Ansah to step down, resulted into massive destruction and looting of both public and private property among other ills.
Chilima described the demonstrations as a setback that the country needs to move away from, and move ahead.
Commenting on Monday’s Constitutional Court ruling of the May 21, 2019 Presidential poll results, the UTM leader said the development should tell the world that the country has the capacity to develop in spite of the problems she is facing.
In the election, MEC announced Prof. Arthur Peter Mutharika winner with 38.5 percent of the total votes cast seconded by MCP’s Chakwera with 35.4 percent of the votes cast while Chilima amassed just above 20 percent of the votes.
However, Chakwera and Chilima challenged the poll results through the Court, which, in its ruling, through the constitutional court, has also ordered for a fresh presidential election within 150 days from the day the ruling was made (Monday, February 3).