Former president Joyce Banda reverses alliance decision, enters election race

Banda first came to power when she was vice president and succeeded the then president, Bingu wa Mutharika

Former Malawi president Joyce Banda has formally submitted papers to run as a candidate in upcoming elections, after reversing a decision to join an alliance with Vice President Saulos Chilima.

Last week Chilima and Banda announced they had formed a four-party coalition in a bid to unseat President Peter Mutharika in the May 21 vote, but the group soon broke up.

Banda first came to power when she was vice president and succeeded the then president, Bingu wa Mutharika, who died suddenly in April 2012.

She lost the 2014 election to Mutharika and left the country until 2018 after being embroiled in a multi-million-dollar corruption scandal dubbed “Cashgate”.

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Today, surrounded by her People’s Party (PP) supporters, she touted her past record and underlined her support of Malawian women.

“My mission in life has been, and still is, to assist women and youth… though business and education,” she said.

“We have sat down with experts in coming up with an economic model like no other and we believe that, in implementing that economic plan, we shall change Malawi.”

Banda founded the PP in 2011 after splitting from the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP), which is led by Mutharika.

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