Malawi’s ex-president, Joyce Banda is poised to seek another mandate to run the country. The former leader’s party, the People’s Party (PP) have chosen her to be their flagbearer into next year’s presidential race.
Having returned home four years from a self-imposed exile, Banda was elected Thursday as the PP’s candidate as the country gears up for national elections in 2019.
While political parties are bracing for elections next year, some 1,800 PP delegates from across the country convened in the economic capital of Blantyre, entrusting Banda with the baton to challenge the incumbent President Peter Mutharika and his Democratic Progressive Party (DPP), whom she lost to during the 2014 election cycle.
Ms. Banda secured a significant majority of the party delegates’ vote, 1,183 against the meager 23 vote her opponent Leonard Mphidza managed to pull.
During her victory speech, a confident Banda said she was gearing up to lead the party to the polls. ” I accept the task you have placed in my hands and I am grateful for the faith you have placed in me, I am ready to work hard because the mandate has come from you. I am more rejuvenated because poverty has become worse since the PP left office.”
Laying out her campaign manifesto, Banda pledged to restore educational standards, electricity supply, rebuilding the mining industry, revamp the struggling economy, provide affordable housing to the nation’s poorest and provide better health care to all Malawians.
As one of the most aid-dependent countries of the world and among the poorest nations, the challenges ahead will take more than sheer rhetoric to resolve them. Malawi will hold presidential, parliamentary and municipal elections in May 2019.
BaretaNews Foreign Correspondent/Analyst