The authorities in Malawi have confirmed that President Bingu Mutharika had died following a heart attack on Thursday morning.
Although there was a delay in making an announcement, possibly because of discussions about his succession, it is expected that Vice president Joyce Banda will take over in accordance with the constitution. The Vice president will assume the presidency and will be free to appoint a new vice president. If she decided to do so then she will remain in office until the end of the normal term of office for the presidency in 2014.
The country will observe ten days of mourning for the deceased president.