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Parliament meets May 18 — Speaker

Malawi President Joyce Banda has approved the convening of Parliament on May 18 2012 to, among other things, table her administration’s first national budget.

Speaker of Parliament Henry Chimunthu Banda confirmed this on Tuesday and said the President will officially open the budget meeting.

"Parliament convenes after the consultation between the Head of State and the Speaker and she has convened it for May 18," said Chimunthu Banda.

The President, who is widely expected to appoint a new Cabinet, is also expected to announce new parliamentary leadership.

Currently, Banda’s People’s Party (PP) has only three MPs and the former ruling party, the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP), heads the House.

"The business committee will convene later and government will provide direction if it has additional business apart from the budget," said the Speaker.

He said the meeting will run for six weeks.

Banda, hitherto the late Bingu wa Mutharika’s estranged State Vice-President, was sworn in as the country’s fourth President since independence in 1964 on April 7 2012 in line with constitutional order after the sudden death of Mutharika on April 5 2012.

Prior to her ascension, Banda was expelled from DPP on December 11 2012 for allegedly forming parallel party structures against Mutharika. However, DPP sources said Banda, who served as DPP first vice-president and Khumbo Kachali who was the second vice-president, were expelled for refusing to endorse Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation Minister Professor Peter Mutharika as DPP presidential candidate in the forthcoming 2014 General Elections.

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