January 21, 2004

Vice President causes constitutional crisis

Two leading lawyers in the country have accused Vice President Justin Malewezi of causing a Constitutional crisis by refusing to resign from the office of the vice presidency when he had defected from the ruling party to People's Progressive Movement (PPM). Edge Kanyongolo, a Constitutional lawyer and lecturer at Chancellor College, a constituent college of the University of Malawi said by refusing to resign as Vice President of the Republic, Malewezi has put President Bakili Muluzi in limbo. "The President cannot fire Right Honourable Malewezi. The system in Malawi is that the president is elected along with the vice president during an election. The president can fire the Right Honourable Chihana but not the Right Honourable Malewezi," he said. He furthermore stressed that the framers of the Republican Constitution did not expect that a vice president of a party could defect and join another party. According to President Muluzi, Malewezi had resigned because he did not want to campaign for the UDF Presidential Candidate Bingu wa Mutharika. (Malawi Standard, Blantyre)

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