History made as Malawi elects her first female speaker, Catherine Gotani Hara

Catherine Gotani Hara
  • On Wednesday, Malawi's Members of Parliament elected fellow legislator, Catherine Gotani Hara, as speaker of Parliament, making her the country's first female speaker for the August House.
  • Gotani amassed 97 of the legitimate votes against Mcheka Chilenje's 93.
  • Gotani took the oath of office and immediately assumed her role as speaker and presided over the election of First and Second Deputy Speakers.

Malawi has made history after electing her first female speaker.

On Wednesday, Malawi's Members of Parliament elected fellow legislator, Catherine Gotani Hara, as speaker of Parliament, making her the country's first female speaker for the August House.

Hara, who belongs to the main opposition Malawi Congress Party (MCP), clinched the seat in a tightly contested electoral process after beating former deputy speaker of the house, Esther Mcheka Chilenje, who belongs to the ruling Democratic Progressive Party (DPP).

Gotani amassed 97 of the legitimate votes against Mcheka Chilenje's 93.

The election was held at the New Parliament Building in the capital, Lilongwe. Before casting the votes, both government and opposition sides of the legislative house agreed on having a woman as the speaker.

Gotani took the oath of office and immediately assumed her role as speaker and presided over the election of First and Second Deputy Speakers.

Gotani comes with a wealth of experience having served as a member of Parliament from 2009 to 2014. She also served in the government as Minister of Health, Minister of Environment, Deputy Minister of Gender, Children and Social Welfare, and Deputy Minister of Transport and Public Works.

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