Tight race in Malawi Presidential poll – ‘Big Question’ results

The Sunday Times

Results of the ‘Big Question’, a social-economic poll run by BNL Times, have shown there might be a tight race in Malawi’s 2014 presidential elections, if the political dynamics do not change.

This follows voting through mobile phone Short Message Services (SMS) and the Times media website which show that Malawi Congress Party (MCP) leader Lazarus Chakwera and Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) president Peter Mutharika are top popular candidates amongst our readers and surfers of our website.

From 25, 265 weighted average votes from our SMS and website platforms, Chakwera scooped 27.21 percent almost running neck to neck with Mutharika who scooped 27.06 percent of the total votes polled.

United Democratic Front (UDF) torch bearer in the next year’s elections, Atupele Muluzi, amassed 23.27 percent of the votes while President Joyce Banda scooped 22.32 percent. A fraction of a percentage of the votes were null and void.

With each candidate scoring more than 20 percent of votes and less than 30 percent, the road to 2014 can at this point in time best be described as a tight race amongst the presidential candidates.

For the last two weeks, BNL Times has been calling on readers to say who they would vote for if elections were held now through our website and SMS platforms that were specifically linked to the four candidates that were polled.

To vote for President Banda readers were supposed to send a text message written ‘PP’ to 52014. Those that have voted for Chakwera sent the word ‘MCP’ to the same number; while the word ‘DPP’ was the vote for Mutharika and ‘UDF’ for Atupele Muluzi.

BNL Times Managing Editor, Brian Ligomeka explained in the last week interview that the results are not any endorsement of a candidate

“The Big Question is not there to further the political agenda of any party or candidate and, be rest assured, it cannot be manipulated into a political tool of any political party now, in 2014 or thereafter,” he said.

Ligomeka said people are free to interpret the outcome of the Big Question the way they want.

“But we look at the outcomes as the views of our readers and followers at the moment. People are free to extrapolate the results the way they feel most comfortable to do,” he said.

The Big Question is a platform for Malawians to have their say on political and economic developments that impact their lives. Ligomeka said the Big Question is not driven by a desire to promote the agenda of any political party, be it in government or in opposition.


Gregory Gondwe

Gregory Gondwe – who has written posts on BNL Times.

  • GMK

    Viva Dr Lazarous Chakwera

  • Wonderboy

    The author seem to shun away from the truth about these results. I was monitoring the online voting which had about 21000 voters; and 13000 were for Chakwera, 6000 for Mutharika, 500 for Banda and 200 for Muluzi. Yes, the sms votes mattered but can not make a tight race because the variance above is wide.

    • fred

      The author seem to shun away from the truth about these results. I was monitoring the online voting which had about 21000 voters; and 13000 were for Chakwera, 6000 for Mutharika, 500 for Banda and 200 for Muluzi. Yes, the sms votes mattered but can not make a tight race because the variance above is wide.I AGREE WITH YOU,

    • kanjipiti

      i agre with you wonderboy

  • Ehlapo

    These unscientific surveys worry me. They are often reason for unrealistic expectations which in turn breed the feeling that ‘someone’ has stolen their vote! I remember the Mgwirizano Coalition a number of years ago. I would implore BNL to invest into proper survey instruments. Mr. Ngwale of the Malawi Polytechnic and, I am sure, many others are the experts at this. Let them help you do a professional job.

  • socrates

    They are all going to be bad leaders. It’s time the country needs to find ways to weed out people who harbor stagnant theories on how to handle the trajectory and vision Malawi needs. We have a whole bunch of greedy candidates who are merely driven by the temptations of power and fat wallet. If you listen to each candidate’s ideas, you would think that we are living in the 1700s. Wake up! It’s year 2013, and these folks still think that they can win people over just by showering lofty goals and barking platitudes. Where are the specifics? Where are the numbers? Where are the figures? What are the sources and resources on which their generalizations get some clout? Where are the new ideas? Other than hoping to borrow or expect aid from foreign patrons and helpers what are the fresh and drastic plans these people are offering? NOTHING!!!!! For the most part each candidate is just making general promises of ‘thinking will be better for you if you vote for me’ kind of thing. If you want to become a president and feel like you deserve my vote give us specifics of new sophisticated ways you can run my country in an ept manner. What’s a starkly distinguishing platform from others we haven’t heard before? Malawians, we, need to demonstrate stellar and impeccable means of handling our resouces and core competencies domestically if we are to realize our competitive edge on the global level. The world has changed. If you are above fifty years old in age, you are probably too old to rule. Your ideas are simply too old to work and make a positive impact. Step aside and let younger, energetic, and sharper folks run the show. The majority of older folks are plagued by the colonial syndrome. They characteristically and habitually view things through the prism of ‘how things used to be operated by the colonial masters’ and nothing pans out to out of the box thinking. They are about intimidating people and fear mongering about what may go wrong and they never forecast the possibilities and positive realizations accurately. Time for negativity, name calling, fear mongering, pronouncing empty slogans, and brainwashing is over! People deserve respect, honesty, and fulfilled promises.The old folks try to push for power through bullying and extortion and often cheat their way into top positions and executive leaderships. They are driven by power, greed, and money. What a qualification! Emblezzlement can be qualifying experience too! Ha? The younger people are the ones who have promising foresight, positive outlook, and genuine yearning for finding solutions to remedy imperfections our country is suffering from. We say no! to the usual crew trying to come in and weaken us further with perilous management, scandalous governance, and chronic corruption. I can not believe the magnitude at which the current and most recent politicians have grossly failed to address mortality and senseless death rates in Malawi. We simply lose way too many people daily. If you look around the world, people don’t simply die at the rate Malawian of all ages die. If we want to retain modernization we need to curb the rate at which we are dying! The fabric of our society tears apart with these uncontrollable rampant deaths. Can somebody wake up and do something about it? Every time one turns around somebody he or she knows has passed away…young, old, and yes…infants. Where are we gonna tap the workforce when energetic young people are dying so commonly and daily? Are they not the engine of economic growth? Who is gonna be productive in terms work and creativity to sustain the country’s development if almost everyone is readily getting sick and consequently dying so often? Is there a candidate out there who is candid enough to think about such a hugely problematic issue and lay out plans on how to tackle it? Or is it just joking as usual? And stop signing those foreign loan contracts without reading and understanding the finelines and clauses. Our grandchildren will burdened with unnecessary debt! Hear?

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