Alliances can avoid re-run – UNZA don

THE loose political alliances being hastily forged among political parties may help Zambians avoid a second run of voting as there is a possibility that the first run can have a president with a clear 50+1 percent majority vote, Alex Ng’oma has predicted.

Dr Ng’oma, a University of Zambia (UNZA) lecturer and political analyst, has also projected that the political alliances being formed could eventually reduce the number of political parties in the long run, hence make the country more united and politically stable.

Dr Ng’oma said the alliances should not be regarded as insignificant no matter how small because winning an election was about numbers and that both the ruling Patriotic Front (PF) and the opposition UPND which were the bigger parties were attracting numbers from small parties.

Commenting on former MMD president Nevers Mumba’s decision to endorse UPND president Hakainde Hichilema as a presidential candidate for the August general elections, Dr Ng’oma said it had become clear that the former ruling party had lost relevance in the current political arrangement and the only means of survival was to forge alliances with strong and stable political parties.

He said the MMD had literally been split into half after one part of former MPs having moved to the UPND while the other had joined the PF and that the continued existence of the former ruling party largely depended on being in an alliance with other political parties.

Dr Ng’oma said small political parties had also realised that they had no chances of remaining effective in their individual capacities and had opted to form alliances with the two leading political parties only for survival.

He explained that the 50+1 percent majority vote for a presidential candidate to be declared winner had completely changed the country’s political terrain and there was a possibility that the number of political parties in the country would be reduced to the barest minimum which would promote unity among Zambians.

“The political alliances being formed by our political parties should not be written off as insignificant because winning an election is about numbers. One vote more for a political party is far better than no vote at all. But for the MMD it has realised that what has happened in their camp cannot make them win any election at all and their only hope is survival.

‘‘They can only do that by forming an alliance with a bigger and stable political party. But as we all know, the MMD has been split into half with one group of former MPs joining the PF and the other has gone to the UPND,” Dr Ng’oma said.

He said political parties receiving defectors should, however, acknowledge the impact of those defecting would be minimal although they would be gaining in numbers.

And Dr Ng’oma said as the country was getting closer to the August general elections, anxieties among political players would be growing which he said could result in some spontaneous violent clashes among political party cadres.

Dr Ng’oma has appealed to Government to adequately equip the Zambia Police so that political activities could be smoothly policed to avert the escalation of political violence.

“Politics is not intended to divide us. We are One Zambia, One Nation and we shall remain like this after the elections. But it will not be surprising to see the escalation of violence because of heightened anxieties among political players,” he said.

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