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Malawi President In Critical Condition After Heart Attack

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AMOS GUMULIRA/AFP/Getty Images(LILONGWE, Malawi) — Malawi’s 78-year-old president is in critical condition after going into cardiac arrest on Thursday.

President Bingu wa Mutharika was transported to Kamuzu Central Hospital for treatment and is reportedly unconscious and in intensive care, reports BBC News.

Mutharika’s wife and brother, who is also the country’s foreign minister, visited him in the hospital.

The southern African nation is facing an economic crisis after diplomatic relations soured with the United Kingdom, resulting in the halting of millions of pounds in aid. Malawi is one of the poorest nations in the world.

Mutharika was elected to the presidency in 2004 representing the United Democratic Front party, but left the party in 2005 to form the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP). He was re-elected for a second term in 2009.

Vice President Joyce Banda, who was expelled from the DPP in 2010 and formed her own party, would assume the presidency if Mutharika dies or is incapacitated, according to the constitution.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

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