U.S. calls for swearing-in of President Joyce Banda

The United States said Malawi’s vice president should take charge soon following the death of President Bingu wa Mutharika, voicing concern over the delay in succession.

“Malawi’s constitution lays out a clear path for succession and we expect it to be observed,” Johnnie Carson, the assistant secretary of state for African affairs, said in a statement released on Friday.

“We are concerned about the delay in the transfer of power. We trust that the vice president who is next in line will be sworn in shortly.”

Under the constitution, Vice President Joyce Banda is next in line.

Chief Justice Lovemore Mulo set to swear in Her Excellency Banda as President

“As Malawians mourn the loss of their president, the United States remains committed to maintaining our strong relationship and partnership with the people of Malawi,” Carson said

Malawi government through its spokesperson Patricia Kaliati has said that there is no way that Banda would take over reigns of power ,  citing her leaving of the ruling Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) as the major reason.

“By leaving the party she made herself not legible for succession of the presidency,” said Kaliati during a press conference convened in Lilongwe at around 11.00 in the evening Friday.

“She cannot be acting President because she already formed her own party,” she added.

Present at the press conference include Kaliati herself, deputy minister in the office of the President and Cabinet Nicholas Dausi, Minister of Health Jean Kalirani, Minister of Youth Vuwa Kaunda, Minister of Henry Mussa and deputy Foreign Affairs minister Kondwani Nankhumwa.

The six did not take questions after the statement from Kaliati but could also not give an update on the status of late Mutharika saying the nation will be updated tomorrow (Saturday).

Kaliati also said Banda’s earlier statement on constitutional succession was misleading to Malawians.

She also said that it was not true that government was planning to call for an emergency meeting of parliament.

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