Africa

Malawi president dissolves Cabinet ahead of polls

Move expected to ‘avoid ministers using state resources for campaigning,’ political observer tells Anadolu Agency

Moses Michael-Phiri   | 15.05.2019
Malawi president dissolves Cabinet ahead of polls

BLANTYRE, MALAWI

Malawi President Peter Mutharika dissolved the country’s 20-member Cabinet on Wednesday, ahead of May 22 elections.

A statement by Chief Secretary to Government Lloyd Muhara said until the appointment of a new Cabinet, all ministerial powers, functions and responsibilities will be exercise by Mutharika.

“All queries or matters should be directed to the Office of the President and Cabinet,” Muhara said.

The dissolution is in line with the Constitution which mandates the president dissolve the Cabinet at any time of his choosing, including during elections, a political analyst at University of Malawi, Mustaf Hussein told Anadolu Agency.

“It is expected that the Cabinet be dissolved at this time as we head to the polls to avoid ministers using state resources for campaigning,” he said.

Mutharika is facing opposition from two of his ministers but his main rival is from former church pastor and opposition Malawi Congress Party (MCP) leader Lazarus Chakwera.

Mutharika defeated then-incumbent president and Africa’s second woman leader Joyce Banda in 2014.

Banda has pulled out of the presidential race and is supporting Chakwera.

Malawians head to the polls to elect 193 members of parliament, 462 local government councilors and the president.

According to Malawi’s Electoral Commission, 6.5 million people have registered to vote in a country of nearly 20 million.

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