Malawi's Mutharika not going anywhere

2012-03-22 21:42

Blantyre - Malawi's president says he won't bow to calls for him to resign before the end of his term in 2014 and says he may even aim for "life president."

President Bingu wa Mutharika said on Thursday he will not leave his official duties "even when the going gets tough".

A top civic rights body has called on him to quit over a crackdown against opponents - including the arrest on Monday of an ex-president's son - and his handling of a deepening economic crisis in the impoverished southeast African nation.

At a meeting on water conservation, Mutharika departed from a prepared speech to declare he won't call a referendum on his rule. He said his party's majority means that if he wanted to stay in power "or indeed to be a life president, I can do it".

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