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Last Updated: Tuesday, 28 June, 2005, 10:03 GMT 11:03 UK
Shock at death of Malawi speaker
Scene outside parliament
The speaker was rushed unconscious from parliament to hospital
The speaker of Malawi's parliament died late on Monday evening, four days after collapsing in parliament.

Speaker Rodwell Munyenyembe was flown to a South African hospital after a severe stroke and then had a cardiac arrest, the health minister said.

He collapsed last Thursday during angry exchanges in parliament after he ruled a motion to impeach Malawian President Bingu wa Mutharika should not be heard.

As the 69-year-old rose to bang his gavel he lost balance and fell down.

Also on Monday, hundreds of students and civil rights activists took to the streets of the country's major cities and towns to protest at parliament's moves to start impeachment proceedings against President Mutharika.

Parliament went into indefinite recess after Mr Munyenyembe's collapse, delaying a crucial budget vote which would allow aid money to flow.

An impeachment motion was lodged by the United Democratic Party (UDF), which has accused the president of violating the constitution and misusing government funds.

After taking office last year under the banner of the UDF, he then left it and formed a new political party, but correspondents say he failed to gain support within opposition ranks.

Profile: Bingu wa Mutharika
23 May 04 |  Africa
Country profile: Malawi
03 May 05 |  Country profiles

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