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Malawi's President Resigns From Ruling Party

Malawi's president has resigned from his ruling party, in what appears to be a deepening power struggle with factions loyal to his predecessor.

President Bingu wa Mutharika's decision to leave the United Democratic Front, announced Saturday by Malawi's state radio, followed a Cabinet reshuffle Friday that removed three ministers seen as supporters of former President Bakili Muluzu.

Mr. Mutharika's political opponents have been pressing the UDF party recently to revoke the president's membership. Analysts trace the move to anti-corruption policies Mr. Matharika adopted after he came to power last year. A number of UDF officials and members of former President Muluzu's administration have been detained for alleged corrupt practices.

Analysts in Malawi say President Mutharika's decision to quit his party puts the southern African country in an unprecedented political and constitutional situation. As Boniface Dulani, a political science lecturer at the University of Malawi said Saturday in Blantyre, "Malawi has never [before] experienced a president without a party."

Some information for this report provided by AFP, AP and Reuters.