Blantyre, Malawi - A Malawi cabinet minister who held a senior post in the ruling party resigned his functions Friday just months before crucial general elections due in May.

Sidi Mia, who was one of the People's Party's three vice presidents to President Joyce Banda and the government's transport and public infrastructure minister, said he was stepping down with immediate effect.

He did not give any reasons for his decision, only that his decision was made after “wide consultation, spiritual and personal reflection”.

A People's Party source suggested, however, that Mia had resigned because he was not chosen running mate for Banda in the upcoming polls.

The May 20 election is the first in which Banda is standing as a presidential candidate.

She ascended from a vice presidency to head of state in 2012 following the sudden death of president Bingu wa Mutharika

Sapa-AFP