July 15, 2008

Muluzi in re-election bid

Lawyers for former Malawian leader Bakili Muluzi are due in court to argue that he should be able to seek re-election as president in 2008. Mr Muluzi wants to stand in the elections against President Bingu wa Mutharika, his chosen successor with whom he has subsequently fallen out. The constitution says a president cannot run again if he has served for two consecutive five-year terms. Mr Muluzi has served two terms as head of state - from 1994 to 2004.
However, his lawyers argue that the constitution allows him to seek re-election after a gap of for example five years - as Mr Muluzi has done - after the two consecutive five-year terms.

Muluzi ended Hastings Banda's 30-year rule in 1994, winning the country's first multi-party elections. In May, he was arrested for allegedly plotting to overthrow Mr Mutharika's government. The month before, Mr Muluzi won a contest to be named the presidential candidate of the United Democratic Front (UDF) in next year's polls. President Mutharika was elected as the UDF candidate in 2004 but soon afterwards fell out with Mr Muluzi and formed his own party. He said his former political associates were opposed to his anti-corruption drive. (rts)


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