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Joyce Banda out of presidential race

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By Faith Kamtambe:

Former president and People’s Party (PP) leader, Joyce Banda, has withdrawn from the presidential race in order to support Vice-President and UTM torchbearer, Saulos Chilima, in the May 21 Tripartite Elections.

Banda’s decision is unsurprising as PP, UTM, Alliance for Democracy (Aford) and other parties have formed an electoral alliance.

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The alliance has promised to reveal its presidential candidate today.

Banda told British Broadcasting Corporation over the weekend that considering her age and the role she has played in Malawi, she would settle for Chilima to be president of the coalition.

Banda also disclosed that she would not vie for the vice presidency in the coalition.

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“The Vice President (VP) of this country, who is also UTM president Saulos Chilima, will lead this alliance. Do you know? We, as Africans, are mature enough and can accept to allow other people to lead for the common good. I am 68 [years old] and I have done my part for my country for 35 years.

“I have been running for the development agenda; I have been a Cabinet minister, vice president and president of the country. I have looked around and said this person [Chilima] has got more energy than what I have,” she said.

Asked why a coalition is a right move for her, Banda said she decided to take that step because there is power in unity.

“In this country and even in Kenya, we have seen the Orange Coalition, the Rainbow Coalition and it is a normal during this time. When you have similar ideologies and similar agenda, you can form a coalition. For me, who leads the coalition does not matter,” she said.

In an interview with The Daily Times, Banda said she would provide more details today.

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