very short news
- Never fear, Scott. The ujeni won't waste away as long as I'm posting
news stories... ; )
Muluzi concedes defeat in bid for another
Malawi President Bakili Muluzi has accepted a narrow
defeat he suffered
when parliament rejected the controversial bill that
was designed to scrap
presidential term limits in the country.
"It was a give and take process. I hold no grudges
nor vengeance against
the people who spoke against or made negative
remarks on me. I will hold
nobody accountable," Muluzi said in a prepared 10
minutes speech on state
radio, in his first reaction to parliament's
Muluzi's party needed just three votes to secure 128
ballots needed to make
a two-thirds majority that could amend the
constitution to allow him to stand
for a third five-year term in 2004.
Some 125 legislators voted in favour of changing the
constitution, while 59
were against and five abstained.
Muluzi, who virtually banned public debate on the
controversial issue in the
run-up to the parliamentary vote, urged Malawians to
"forgive each other and
"Democracy calls for tolerance of different views.
Now that the debate has
been determined, the tension should melt away to
pave way for
reconciliation," Muluzi added.
Muluzi came under heavy local and international
pressure to hold a free and
open debate on the amendment of the bill.
President Muluzi's second term ends in 2004 and with
his ruling United
Democratic Front (UDF) party holding only 95 seats
in parliament, he
required the support of other groupings to garner
the requisite two-thirds
majority for the constitutional change. - AFP