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Malawi's President Tells VOA He Will Not Hold On To Power

Says he is not tempted to stay in power beyond his original term

Washington, D.C., September 28, 2009 - Malawian President Bingu wa Mutharika told Voice of America (VOA) he will not try to change the country's laws in order to hold on to power.

"I am in my second term now," Mutharika said in an interview today with In Focus, a VOA television program for Africa. "I am preparing to go home. I don't believe that anyone should insist on staying on."

Mutharika won his second five-year term in office in May 2009. Malawi's constitution permits presidents two five-year terms. Mutharika said others may be tempted to stay in power beyond their original terms, but he is not.

"Nobody in Africa is indispensable," he said. "(If) they go today, Africa will still continue. So why should an individual believe that … your country should not go on without you? I will not stay one more day longer in the State House than the constitution allows me."

Mutharika said he improved Malawi's economy by shunning recommendations of the International Monetary Fund and The World Bank. The president has been praised for policies that promote Malawi's ability to feed itself and export crops.

Mutharika was in the United States for the U.N. General Assembly session in New York, and to receive an award from the Washington-based Foundation for Democracy in Africa for his contributions to African democracy and development.

VOA's In Focus ( is a 30-minute daily magazine program that brings information about Africa, the United States and the world to viewers across Africa.

The Voice of America, which first went on the air in 1942, is a multimedia international broadcasting service funded by the U.S. Government through the Broadcasting Board of Governors. VOA broadcasts approximately 1,500 hours of news, information, educational, and cultural programming every week to an estimated worldwide audience of more than 125 million people. Programs are produced in 45 languages.

For more information, call VOA Public Relations at (202) 203-4959, or e-mail