Following the death of Bingu wa Mutharika, the BBC reports that Vice-President Joyce Banda has been sworn in as the president of Malawi, making her southern Africa's first female head of state.* Mutharika, who was 78, suffered a heart attack on Thursday, but his death was not confirmed until today. Despite her position in his administration, Banda was one of Mutharika's fiercest critics, and some were concerned about a power struggle. The delay in announcing Mutharika's death was viewed by some as an attempt to bypass the country's constitution and instead install Mutharika's brother, Foreign Minister Peter Mutharika, in his place. The U.S. and E.U. had called for the country to adhere to its constitutional process.
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