Malawi President Peter Mutharika held talks Thursday with nine opposition leaders to discuss thorny issues affecting the country, including federalism.
The meeting was held in camera but sources said the President and opposition leaders also discussed the issue of federalism.
Mutharika is under pressure to call for a referendum after opposition parties, especially from northern and central Malawi, have called for a federal system of government.
Many felt sidelined in Mutharika’s cabinet formation and the way some of his tribesmen have occupied influential posts after his election.
Speaking on behalf of the opposition leaders, Kamuzu Chibambo, the president of the Peoples Transformation Party (Petra), said Mutharika was very open to the ideas they had tabled.
“We assured him of our support because this is our country; its either we go forward together or we sink together,” said Chibambo.
The President said the meeting was a fulfillment of a promise he had made during the presidential campaign.
“We had a wonderful working luncheon discussing all sorts of aspects of issues from electoral system to Cashgate to economic reforms and economic development,” Mutharika told reporters.
Mutharika won 34 percent of the vote in the hotly-contested election, defeating first female president Joyce Banda and others.
Conspicuously missing at the meeting held at Sanjika Palace in Blantyre was Lazarus Chakwera, the leader of the Malawi Congress Party (MCP).
Banda, the leader of the Peoples Party (PP), also did not show up for the meeting.
Her spokesperson, Tusekele Mwanyongo, said the former president was still in the U.S. where she had gone to attend some events on the sidelines of the United Nations General Assembly meeting.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :