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Joyce Banda’s first 100 days

31 July 2012

In short, the first 100 days of President Banda have shown that the backbone of the Malawi politics is still intact – politics and the running of government in the country is business as usual. There are more continuities and less change.

That is from Jimmy Kainja’s post on Malawi President Joyce Banda’s first 100 days. I find Kainja’s assessment of the lack of national policies and resulting inability to distinguish parties by platform particularly valid.

My colleagues and I have just wrapped up a national survey with nearly 1600 respondents in rural and urban Malawi in which we asked about political party identification as well as who citizens would vote for if an election were held tomorrow. In the uncleaned, unweighted data, we see some support for Banda’s People’s Party (PP), but former President Bingu wa Mutharika’s party (the Democratic Progressive Party, or DPP) continues to have support as well. The most interesting comparison between the two questions is a general lack of party affiliation, and yet still voters are able to pick one to vote for, if they had to.

All of this is to say Kainja is right on another point: 2014 is Banda’s election to lose.

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