1 June 2014

Malawi: Exorcising Bingu's Ghost - Malawi Welcomes President Mutharika the Second


Malawi's new president has a lot on his plate: rooting out corruption, fixing a broken electoral system and, above all, sorting out the stuttering economy. But before Peter Mutharika can get down to business, he's got to prove that he really is his own man and not just Bingu's little brother, with all the negative connotations that association carries.

Move over, Joyce Banda: Malawi has a new president. On Saturday, Peter Mutharika was declared the winner of the chaotic presidential election, and on Sunday Mutharika was sworn in - the unseemly haste prompted by the failure of Malawi's constitution to allow for any kind of transitional period between leaders.

Not that Mutharika would have been bothered by the rush. He's been waiting for this moment for quite some time, groomed by his brother and former president, the late Bingu wa Mutharika, for the top job. His ambitions have already been foiled once, when Bingu died suddenly in office: the efforts of a clique senior ruling party officials to maneuver Peter into power and subvert the legal succession were thwarted by a stubborn Joyce Banda, and a military that understood its constitutional obligations. (For his alleged role in...

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