US, SA congratulate Mutharika: Malawi’s new President

The United States government and South Africa’s President Jacob Zuma on Saturday congratulated Malawi’s newly elected Head of State, His Excellency Prof. Peter Mutharika, , on his successful election.

The Obama administration also congratulated Malawians for conducting a peaceful election.

“The United States congratulates Professor Arthur Peter Mutharika and Mr. Saulos Chilima on being elected the new President and Vice President, respectively, of the Republic of Malawi. We further congratulate the people of Malawi for actively and peacefully exercising their democratic rights in selecting their new leader,” said a statement released by US State Department spokesperson Jen Psaki.

President Peter Mutharika takes his oath of office alongside Chief Justice Anastansia Msosa
President Peter Mutharika takes his oath of office alongside Chief Justice Anastansia Msosa

According to the statement, the United States looks forward to continuing its close partnership with the Government of Malawi “in the advance of our mutual interests of supporting Malawi’s development.”

South Afrca’s Zuma, who last week was sworn in for a new term of office, also praised Malawi “for successfully conducting their elections, thus entrenching a democratic culture in the country.”

He assured President Mutharika of South Africa’s commitment “to strengthening bilateral relations between our two countries.”

Mutharika, 74, the younger brother of president Bingu wa Mutharika who died in office in 2012, took the oath of office with vice-president Saulos Chilima before a chief justice Anastansia Msosa in Blantyre on Saturday.

He urged the 11 other former presidential candidates to “join me in rebuilding the country” after some of them had contested the results.

The results of the fraught May 20 election were announced late on Friday after the high court blocked a last-ditch demand for a recount.
Presidential inauguration ceremony is expected to take place on Monday at Kamuzu Stadium in Blantyre where former president Joyce Banda is expected to hand over a sword of power to her successor.

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