Wednesday, May 20, 2009

A new era of politics?

In my previous post, I was predicting a victory for incumbent president Bingu wa Mutharika. I must confess I did not expect the margin of victory that appears to be emerging from the election results as currently being announced. For all intents and purposes, Mutharika appears to be headed for a strong landslide performance. While Bingu is performing strongly in the northern region as predicted, he has also performed just as strongly in the central region and the southern region.
perhaps the biggest surprise is coming in Parliament. While a number of independents are outperforming some DPP candidates in a few areas, by and large, the strong performance of the DPP is being repeated in the Parliamentary race. Indeed, even among the independents that are winning, most are among those that were frustrated in the DPP primary race. In other words, these are essentially DPP candidates that are most likely to go back to their DPP home.
The people's verdict is in - some of us will be talking about what this bodes for the future of the country's democracy, about the future of the opposition, about voting trends in a country long used to regionalistic politics. All that should be put in the context of what the Malawi people want. They cannot be expected to vote for individuals who have failed them just for the sake of maintaining an opposition. they cannot be expected to vote for people from their region even if they are deemed failures. It is the dawn of a new politics.

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