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Officials: Malawi’s president hospitalized

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BLANTYRE, Malawi >> Officials say Malawi’s President Bingu wa Mutharika has been hospitalized with a heart problem.

The officials, who spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to speak to journalists, said the 78-year-old president was taken to a Lilongwe hospital this morning.

Further details on his condition were not immediately available.

Mutharika is a former World Bank official once heralded for his stewardship of a southern African country that is among the world’s poorest. In recent years, he has been accused of trampling on democratic rights.

Mutharika first came to power in a 2004 election, and was overwhelming re-elected five years later. Elections are not due again in Malawi until 2014.

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