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Malawi’s Peter Mutharika offers Joyce Banda olive branch

By The Citizen
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Malawi’s newly elected President Peter Mutharika has said he is offering an “olive branch” to ex-leader Joyce Banda after winning disputed elections.

He was addressing thousands of supporters at a ceremony to celebrate his inauguration as president.

Mr Mutharika was charged with treason in March 2013 after being accused of plotting a coup. He denied the charge.

Mrs Banda failed in a bid to annul Mr Mutharika’s victory in last month’s election.

She called for a re-election, saying the election had been marred by widespread fraud.

‘Bury the past’
However, Mrs Banda accepted defeat after the High Court ordered the release of the results on Friday.

She is the first serving Malawian president to lose an election.

Mr Mutharika is Malawi’s former foreign minister and brother of Bingu wa Mutharika, the late president who unexpectedly died in office in 2012.

Official results showed Mrs Banda came third with 20% of the vote. BBC