PP announced its withdrawal from the coalition with UTM, Alliance for Democracy and Tikonze People’s Movement after UTM refused to give the runningmate slot to PP, according to a statement signed by PP spokesperson Ackson Kalaile Banda.
When a question on the matter was put to her, Banda simply told a college of journalists that gathered outside the Chichiri International Conference Centre: “Don’t spoil my beautiful nomination paper presentation with a question to do with the failed alliance”.
Apparently, Banda has also swallowed back the words she recently told the BBC that 68 year olds must never seek a public office by picking a 77 year old Dr. Jerry Jana as a runningmate.
About three days ago, she had told the BBC that: “I am 68! I don’t have to run for either presidency or vice presidency. I can just support this young and highly capable person in Dr. Saulos Klaus Chilima. We African leaders must understand the right time to leave the stage to other capable people for greater good of our nation.”
Introducing her running mate, Banda touted Jana as a formidable leader whom she knew from the time he was a leader of Malawi Confederation of Chambers of Commerce when she was leading small–scale businesses.
“While Jerry Jana headed big business, I headed small businesses,” said Banda.
“If we are going to transform this country, it will be about the income into the households. I was looking for a partner that has worked a lot in the economic social impact of the economy,” said Banda.
Banda, who ascended to the presidency in line with constitutional order after the death of Bingu wa Mutharika in 2012, finished third in the May 20 2014 Tripartite Elections with 1 056 236 votes against 1 904 399 for Peter Mutharika and 1 455 880 for second-placed Lazarus Chakwera of Malawi Congress Party. Muluzi was fourth with 717 224 votes.
Meanwhile, Chancellor College based political analyst Happy Kayuni has described the partnership as non-starter ahead of the polls.
"Politically Dr Jerry Jana is not a heavyweight and cannot add any value to her candidature in the election,” Kayuni told a MEC stringer on Tuesday.
Kayuni said despite the PP presidential runningmate serving in various companies and organizations in the country but he lacks connection with ordinary Malawians.
"Recently the former president said she was old to pave way for young blood and by getting Dr Jana as her runningmate, she is not appealing to the youth in the country," said Kayuni.
Dr Jerry Jana once served as Chief Executive Officer of the Agricultural Development Marketing Corporation (ADMARC).