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Malawi President is Inaugurated

Malawi's President Bingu wa Mutharika has been sworn in for a second five-year term.

During an inauguration ceremony attended by several regional leaders, Mr Mutharika said fighting corruption would continue to be a top priority.

Earlier Malawi's election commission said he had won more than 2.7m votes, with nearest rival John Tembo taking nearly 1.3m.

The opposition, which contests the results, boycotted the inauguration.

During the ceremony in the main stadium in Blantyre, Mr Mutharika said: "I shall continue to fight corruption because it is evil... it robs the poor and denies them their legitimate right to a decent living."

Presidents attending the event included Zimbabwe's President Robert Mugabe, Zambia's Rupiya Banda, and Mozambique's Armando Guebuza.

 


These elections have been rigged
John Tembo
Malawi Congress Party leader

The BBC's Raphael Tenthani at the event says the 50,000-capacity arena was packed full, with the official blue party colour of Mr Mutharika's Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) everywhere.

DPP supporters sang "Moses Wa Lero", describing Mr Mutharika as a "modern-day Moses".

Mr Mutharika, a 75-year-old former World Bank official, saw his DPP take the lion's share of parliamentary votes.

Foreign concern

Mr Mutharika's running mate Joyce Banda, becomes the first female vice-president in Malawi's history.

International poll monitors said they were "extremely concerned" by what they called a lack of balanced coverage from state media during the campaign.

Mr Tembo rejected the official results, telling reporters that they had been "rigged".

But his opposition coalition partner, former President Bakili Muluzi, who had backed Mr Tembo after being himself barred from seeking a third term, congratulated Mr Mutharika.

The poll followed a five-year feud between Mr Muluzi and his successor.

Mr Mutharika was elected in 2004 but then fell out with Mr Muluzi, accusing his one-time backer of trying to stonewall his anti-corruption drive.

Poverty, agriculture and health care are the big issues for Malawi, where two-thirds of the 14 million population lives on less than $1 a day and Aids has orphaned an estimated one million children.
 
Source:BBC
Tags:Malawi
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