A referendum on reintroducing multi-party democracy was held in Malawi on 14 June 1993. Over 64% of voters voted to end the Malawi Congress Party's 31-year monopoly on power. Soon afterwards President Hastings Banda, leader since independence, was stripped of both his post of President for life and most of the dictatorial powers he had held since the institution of one-party rule in 1966. General elections were held the following year, in which Banda was defeated. Voter turnout for the referendum was 67% of the 4.7 million registered voters.
|Source: African Elections Database|
The History of Malawi covers the area of present-day Malawi. The region was once part of the Maravi Empire. In colonial times, the territory was ruled by the British, under whose control it was known first as British Central Africa and later Nyasaland. It became part of the Federation of Rhodesia and Nyasaland. The country achieved full independence, as Malawi, in 1964. After independence, Malawi was ruled as a one-party state under Hastings Banda until 1994.
Politics of Malawi takes place in a framework of a presidential representative democratic republic, whereby the President of Malawi is both head of state and head of government, and of a multi-party system. Executive power is exercised by the government. Legislative power is vested in both the government and the National Assembly. There is a cabinet of Malawi that is appointed by the President of Malawi. The judiciary is independent of the executive and the legislature. The government of Malawi has been a multi-party democracy since 1994. The Economist Intelligence Unit rated Malawi a "hybrid regime" in 2019.
Hastings Kamuzu Banda was the prime minister and later president of Malawi from 1964 to 1994.
General elections were held in Malawi on 20 May 2004 to elect a President and the National Assembly. The election had originally been scheduled for 18 May but was postponed for two days in response to opposition complaints of irregularities in the voter roll. By 22 May no results had been announced, leading to protests from the opposition and threats of disorder. On 25 May the Malawi Electoral Commission finally announced the results of the election. Bingu wa Mutharika, the candidate of the ruling United Democratic Front, was declared the winner of the presidential poll, whilst the Malawi Congress Party had won most seats in the National Assembly vote. Voter turnout was around 62%.
Malawi elects on the national level a head of state – the president – and a legislature. The president and the vice-president are elected on one ballot for a five-year term by the people. A simple plurality is required to win; there is no provision for a runoff election. The National Assembly has 193 members, elected for a five-year term in single-seat constituencies. Malawi is a multi-party system, which means that there are multiple parties as well as a number of independent politicians who do not formally associate with any party.
Brown James Mpinganjira, popularly known as BJ is a Malawian Politician who used his 1986 detention to fight the injustices of the then one party state. He worked with others in prison and used their time to devise ways on how to change the direction of Malawi's political state. Mpinganjira was detained in 1986 and was released in 1991 due to international pressure. He began working for British council upon his release and received support from international community to form a pressure group and lobby for a referendum to decide whether Malawi was still to remain a one party state or become a multi party democracy. In the 1993 referendum, history was made at the polls when Malawians voted for multi party democracy. In the first multi party elections, Mpinganjira contested as Member of Parliament in his home town Mulanje. He won the parliamentary seat in 1994 and served as an MP for Mulanje Central for 15years. In the 15 years that he was in parliament, Mpinganjira had a colourful political career and is one of the best political masterminds in Malawi. He has contested once as a presidential candidate for National Democratic Alliance (NDA) in 2004 and as a running mate in the Mgwirizano Coalition in 2009.
Elections in Portugal are free, fair, and regularly held, in accordance with election law.
Elections in Niger take place within the framework of a semi-presidential system. The President and National Assembly are elected by the public, with elections organised by the Independent National Electoral Commission (CENI).
Elections in Zambia take place within the framework of a multi-party democracy and a presidential system. The President and National Assembly are simultaneously elected for five-year terms.
The Alliance for Democracy is a political party in Malawi that marked its history as laying the foundation for multi-party rule in Malawi. It began as an underground political movement during the Kamuzu Banda era and later evolved to a political party during the multi-party era under the leadership of trade union activist, Chakufwa Chihana. AFORD has a stronghold in the northern region. The president is Godfrey Shawa.
The Malawi Congress Party (MCP) is a political party in Malawi. It was formed as a successor party to the banned Nyasaland African Congress when the country, then known as Nyasaland, was under British rule. The MCP, under Hastings Banda, presided over Malawian independence in 1964, and from 1966 to 1993 was the only legal party in the country. It has continued to be a major force in the country since losing power.
Gwandaguluwe "Gwanda" Chakuamba Phiri was a Malawian politician who was the leader of the New Republican Party (NRP). He hailed from Nsanje, a district on the southern part of Malawi. Gwanda Chakuamba attended Zomba Catholic Secondary School, a 2 year metriculation at Sulosi College in Bulawayo Zimbabwe before proceeding to the US to study law though not much is known about whether he did a degree program or a short course.
Chakufwa Chihana was a Malawian human rights activist, pro-democracy advocate, trade unionist and later, politician. He held the post of Second Vice President in Malawi, under President Bakili Muluzi. He is often called the 'father of Malawian democracy'. He served as leader of Malawi's first underground political movement, which urged President Hastings Kamuzu Banda, who had ruled for three decades, to call for a referendum on political pluralism. He was awarded the Robert F. Kennedy Human Rights Award in 1992.
General elections were held in Malawi on 19 May 2009. Incumbent President Bingu wa Mutharika ran for re-election; his main opponent was John Tembo, the president of the Malawi Congress Party (MCP). Five other candidates also ran. The election was won by Mutharika, who was re-elected to the Presidency with around two-thirds of the vote. Mutharika's DPP also won a strong parliamentary majority.
General elections were held in Malawi on 17 May 1994 to elect the President and National Assembly. They were the first multi-party elections in the country since prior to independence in 1964, and the first since the restoration of multi-party democracy the previous year. The Malawi Congress Party (MCP), which had governed the country since independence, was decisively beaten by the United Democratic Front (UDF). Former President-for-life Hastings Banda, in power since independence, was defeated in by the UDF's Bakili Muluzi, who took 47 percent of the vote to Banda's 33 percent.
General elections were held in Zambia on 31 October 1991 to elect a President and National Assembly. They were the first multi-party elections since 1968, and only the second multi-party elections since independence in 1964. The United National Independence Party (UNIP), which had led the country since independence, was comprehensively beaten by the Movement for Multi-Party Democracy (MMD). Kenneth Kaunda, who had been president since independence, was defeated in a landslide by MMD challenger Frederick Chiluba in the presidential elections, whilst the MMD won 125 of the 150 elected seats in the expanded National Assembly. Voter turnout was 45%.
General elections were due to be held in Malawi on 24 May 1976. The Malawi Congress Party had been the only legally permitted party since 1966. Each of the 70 constituencies had a maximum of five candidates proposed by at least two registered voters. These candidates were then submitted to President-for-life Hastings Banda, who selected a single candidate for each seat. As a result, all 70 candidates were returned unopposed.
General elections were held in Malawi on 26 and 27 June 1992. the Malawi Congress Party was the sole legal party at the time, the country having become a one-party state in 1966. Voter turnout was reported to be 80% by the government, but was actually around 40%. 62 incumbents lost their seats.
General elections were held in Malawi on 20 May 2014. They were Malawi's first tripartite elections, the first time the president, National Assembly and local councillors were elected on the same day. The presidential election was won by opposition candidate Peter Mutharika of the Democratic Progressive Party, who defeated incumbent President Joyce Banda.