- Majority of Malawi's opposition parliamentarians boycotted the official opening of parliament by President Bingu wa Mutharika in the capital Lilongwe. Only seven deputies from the oppositin bench attended the session on Monday.
Most political parties, except one which complained of security threats, have not publicly advanced reasons for the latest opposition boycott. Malawians expressed concern over resumption of a clash between the executive and parliament.
But Malawia's Minister of Justice and Constitutional Affairs, Henry Phoya, assured journalists that this development would not affect the day-to-day routine of the government.
"We shall continue with our normal schedule of business in parliament although they have decided not to come today," Mr Phoya assured.
President Mutharika wondered why the opposition decided to stay away from the session after all the government had not flouted the constitution. He said the opening of parliament had become a necessity because there are a lot to be dealt.
"I am more than convinced that members will take a serious attitude and adopt all government funding bills that are presented before the house," President Mutharika said, warning deputies to refrain from using the parliament to settle personal grudges.
"It should never be used for retribution and vengeance," he said.
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