Opposition holds rally in Malawi

HARARE (AP) - Malawi's first legal opposition rally is a sign that authoritarian, one-party rule is on the way out, organisers said yesterday. Some 20,000 chanting men, women and children peacefully gathered on Sunday in Malawi's commercial capital of Blantyre in support of calls for a multi-party system.

'This is a milestone on the road to full democracy,' said Bakili Muluzi, chairman of the opposition Malawi United Democratic Front.

Under pressure from aid donors abroad and opponents closer to home, President Hastings Kamuzu Banda has agreed to hold a referendum in March on whether Malawi should continue as a one-party state.