Joyce Banda next Malawi leader, Muluzi and Law Society say

Malawi’s former president Bakili Muluzi has called for “constitutional order” following the death of President Bingu wa Mutharika, basically calling for Vice-President Joyce Banda to take over as head of state.

And the Malawi Law Society has also added its weight, saying the Constitution mandates the Vice President to take over the reins of power.

“I am calling for a constitutional order, for continued peace and order. The laws of Malawi are very clear that the vice president takes over” when the sitting president can no longer govern, Muluzi told a news conference.

“We have to avoid a situation where there is disorder. Let us follow the constituion. We have no choice but follow the constitution. It’s very important that there must be peace and calm,”

He appealed to the executive to make accurate information available.

Her Excellency the Malawi leader Joyce Banda

“It’s important that the government announces the condition of the president as soon as possible so that the nation is informed,” Muluzi said.

The former president was however cautious on the condition of the President, as he did not say he has died; only wishing him “quick recovery.”

Muluzi nonetheless said when the President is incapacitated -unable to discharge his office – “the vice President is responsible in running the affairs of the country.”

President of the law society, John Gift Makhwawa said Banda will be sworn-in as President of Malawi when it’s formally certified that President Mutharika is no more.

“The law is crystal clear that the Vice President must take over as the Head of State,” said Mwakhwawa, citing Section 83(4) of the Constitution.

The Section reads ’whenever there is a vacancy in the office of President, the First Vice-President shall assume that office for the remainder of the term and shall appoint another person to serve as First Vice-President for the remainder of the term.”

Makhwawa explained that the Executive now has no powers to call for Parliament.

Her Excellency Banda was booted out of Mutharika’s ruling DPP party in 2010 after an argument about succession.

Mutharika appeared to have been grooming his Foreign Minister brother Peter as his successor.

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