Malawi president reshuffles cabinet, keeps finance minister

Fri Apr 27, 2012 10:24am GMT
 

By Frank Phiri

BLANTYRE (Reuters) - New Malawian President Joyce Banda has named her cabinet from several opposition parties, state radio said on Thursday, in a move to garner broad parliamentary support and woo donors back to the impoverished nation.

Banda, who this week fired the central bank governor and earlier this month sacked the information minister, has retained Finance Minister Ken Lipenga, the state broadcaster said.

A prominent women's rights campaigner, the 61-year-old policeman's daughter and former vice president has been on a push to bring Malawi back from an economic crisis after her predecessor picked fights with overseas donors.

Former president Bingu wa Mutharika, who died of a heart attack this month, squabbled with Western donors who then froze millions of dollars of assistance that had traditionally bankrolled about 40 percent of the budget.

While Banda's People's Party had no single elected member in the 193-seat parliament, several members of parliament have already defected to her party, the broadcaster reported, and more are expected to follow.

The newly named cabinet includes members of at least four different parties.

Malawian President Joyce Banda addresses a media conference in the capital Lilongwe April 7, 2012. REUTERS/Mabvuto Banda
 
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