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Nevers weighs pact ahead of poll

MUMBA

CATHERINE MUMBA, Lusaka
MMD president Nevers Mumba says it would be premature for any presidential candidate to announce their running mate now because there are a lot of considerations involved.
And Dr Mumba said the MMD does not have plans of merging with any political party but has not ruled out the possibility of going into an electoral pact in the forthcoming elections.
Dr Mumba said he knows that all political party presidents have a number of candidates in mind, but that he would be surprised if any of them was to announce a running mate this early.
He was speaking when he featured on Hot FM radio’s “Hot Seat” programme yesterday.
“I know people are excited about this new fantastic development and are excited to know who will be whose running mate. But I would be surprised if any party president was to announce his/her running this early because there is so much dynamism taking place on the ground,” he said.
Dr Mumba said even in countries where republican vice-presidents are elected as running mates, presidential candidates delay the announcement of co-runners for various reasons.
He said his priority is not choosing a running mate but strengthening the former ruling party.
Dr Mumba said he has embarked on a countrywide tour to elicit support for his party in the forthcoming elections.
He assured his party members and Zambians that he will use last year’s electoral defeat and setbacks to lead the party to success.
“The MMD is a contender in the forthcoming elections and we will use last year’s setbacks as our ladder to success. People should know that the underdog is more dangerous than the champion,” Dr Mumba said.
And KELVIN CHONGO in Lusaka PF deputy spokesperson Frank Bwalya says the ruling party is too strong and organised for any opposition political party alliance to pose a threat to its victory in the August 11 general elections.
Fr Bwalya said the PF does not even think an alliance by opposition political parties can last.
“As PF, we already know that the issue of a presidential candidate and running mate will be a problem for any alliance that is formed among opposition political parties,” Fr Bwalya said.
He said in a statement in Lusaka yesterday that opposition parties are known to be selfish when it comes to alliances and that in the past, alliances have failed because of greed.
“The ruling PF is also not worried about a small fraction of the opposition MMD going to the opposition UPND because it has a bigger part of the MMD on its side,” Fr Bwalya said.
He said this is besides the ruling PF being confident that former President Rupiah Banda will work with President Lungu whom he helped to ascend to power last year.
Fr Bwalya said he is positive that President Lungu and the PF will win this year’s elections.

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