2009 Malawian general election

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2009 Malawian general election
Flag of Malawi.svg
  2004 19 May 2009 (2009-05-19) 2014  
Presidential election
  Lula Mutharika (Cropped).JPG John Tembo.jpg
Nominee Bingu wa Mutharika John Tembo
Running mate Joyce Banda Brown Mpinganjira
Popular vote2,963,8201,365,672

President before election

Bingu wa Mutharika


Bingu wa Mutharika

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. [1] The election was won by Mutharika, who was re-elected to the Presidency with around two-thirds of the vote. [2] Mutharika's DPP also won a strong parliamentary majority. [3]


Electoral system

Voter registration started in August 2008 and was scheduled to end on 29 November 2008, but on 20 November (by which time 3.5 million voters had been registered) it was announced that registration would be extended into December. This extension was caused by problems related to digital cameras that were necessary to the process. [4]

Between 2 February and 6 February, presidential and parliamentary candidates submitted their nomination papers. [5] The official campaigning period began on 17 March and is scheduled to conclude on 17 May. Parliament was dissolved on 20 March, in accordance with the constitution, [6] and subsequently the Malawi Electoral Commission (MEC)will announce which candidates have been deemed eligible. [7]


On 22 October 2008, Hetherwick Ntaba, the Secretary-General of the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP), announced that the DPP national governing council had unanimously endorsed Mutharika as the party's presidential candidate a few days earlier. [8] However, Foreign Minister Joyce Banda said on 16 January 2009 that Mutharika felt the endorsement of the council was inadequate and that he wanted the endorsement of the party's base. Therefore, he sought the backing of the delegates at a DPP convention. [9] Later, as the DPP presidential candidate, Mutharika chose Banda as his vice-presidential candidate. [10]

Bakili Muluzi, who was designated as the UDF's (United Democratic Front) presidential candidate, previously served two terms as president from 1994 to 2004. According to the constitution, a president is allowed to serve no more than two consecutive five-year terms. Because Muluzi had been out of office since 2004, his supporters argued that the term limit should not apply to him, as it did not restrict nonconsecutive terms if interpreted literally. [5]

Speaking to Capital Radio on 22 February 2009, Muluzi accused the government of using intimidation against his candidacy and warned that such conduct could lead to "problems". [7] A few days later, he was charged by the Anti-Corruption Bureau with stealing 12 million dollars of aid money; he appeared before a court in Blantyre and was released on bail. [11] The Electoral Commission stated he was not eligible to run again, but his supporters are calling for an official court decision instead. [12] On 16 May, only three days before the election, the Constitutional Court ruled that Muluzi could not run again. [13]

MCP President John Tembo was considered the main opposition candidate, and the MCP formed an electoral alliance with the UDF prior to the election. [1] Tembo's vice-presidential candidate was Brown Mpinganjira of the UDF. [14] Observing that the DPP had never participated in an election (it was founded in 2005), Tembo argued that he and the MCP had the experience to govern the country properly: "I belong to the past, I belong to the present and I also belong to the future." [15]

Independent candidate James Nyondo submitted his nomination papers on 4 February and claims to have sponsored over 120 independent parliamentary candidates by paying the MK 100,000 ($700 USD) nomination fee. He is the only independent candidate in the 2009 presidential election and has campaigned on the need for a new generation of leadership, a smaller cabinet, and an end to the personal extravagance of the current and previous governments. [16] [17] [18]

Loveness Gondwe of the New Rainbow Coalition submitted her presidential candidacy on 3 February, becoming the first woman to run for president in Malawi. She stressed the importance of holding a free and fair election and avoiding the kind of post-election turmoil that affected Kenya and Zimbabwe in 2008. [19]

Observers expected a close election between the two strongest candidates, Mutharika and Tembo. While Tembo enjoyed the united backing of the country's two most established and powerful partiesthe MCP and the UDFhe faced an incumbent president who had presided over strong economic growth of 8%, and the outcome was considered uncertain. [15]

Mutharika, who was 75 years old at the time of the election, said that he would retire from politics if he lost the election and that he would retire in 2014 if he was successful in winning a second term. [15]


On the day of the election, Joy Radio, which is owned by UDF Chairman Bakili Muluzi, was closed by the police after it broadcast a satire that lampooned Mutharika. Two of the station's presenters and a technician were arrested. [20] Tembo alleged that the government had committed electoral fraud with opposition poll agents being denied access to the vote counting centres. An EU observation team also noted that state television had failed to be neutral during the election campaigns, supporting the government. [21]


The Malawi Electoral Commission declared that Bingu wa Mutharika had won the presidential election on 21 May 2009, after 93% of votes had been counted. [21] Mutharika gained 2.9 million votes with John Tembo, his nearest rival, winning 1.4 million.

In the National Assembly elections, the DPP won 114 seats (though the election of the vice president vacated one of those), obtaining a strong majority in the 193-seat National Assembly, while the MCP trailed distantly with 26 seats and the UDF won only 17. [3] Mutharika and the DPP won an overwhelming victory in northern Malawi, but also performed well in the central and southern regions, although those regions have been historically dominated by the MCP and UDF respectively. Some analysts suggested that this election marked a departure from Malawi's traditional voting patterns, which are heavily influenced by region. [22] Unlike Tembo, Muluzi accepted the official results of the election. [3] 32 independent MPs were elected, though many of those started joining the DPP after the election; one seat was won by the Maravi People's Party (MPP), the Alliance for Democracy (Aford) and the Malawi Forum for Unity and Development (MAFUNDE). In one constituency, the election was postponed. [23]


CandidateRunning matePartyVotes%
Bingu wa Mutharika Joyce Banda Democratic Progressive Party 2,963,82066.17
John Tembo Brown Mpinganjira Malawi Congress Party 1,365,67230.49
Kamuzu Walter ChibamboStanley Alex Robert Mnenula People's Transformation Party 35,3580.79
Stanley Edingtone MasauliSophie Kuthyola Republican Party 33,9820.76
Loveness GondweBeatrice Roseby MwaleNew Rainbow Coalition32,4320.72
James Mbowe Nyondo]Vivian Mark ThunyaniIndependent27,4600.61
Dindi Gowa Nyasulu Chinkhokwe Tyson Banda Alliance for Democracy 20,1500.45
Valid votes4,478,87497.45
Invalid/blank votes117,0282.55
Total votes4,595,902100.00
Registered voters/turnout5,871,81978.27
Source: African Elections Database

National Assembly

Democratic Progressive Party 1,739,20239.99114New
Malawi Congress Party 562,85912.9426–31
United Democratic Front 562,02512.9217–32
People's Progressive Movement 48,3891.110–6
New Republican Party 43,0090.990New
Alliance for Democracy 38,4270.881–5
New Rainbow Coalition30,8470.710New
Congress of Democrats19,4320.450New
Maravi People's Party 17,6090.401New
People's Transformation Party 8,4980.200–1
Malawi Forum for Unity and Development 6,8310.161+1
Republican Party 4,1110.090–15
Malawi Democratic Party 4560.0100
National Patriotic Front4380.010New
National Unity Party 2840.0100
People's Popular Front1280.000New
Congress for National Unity 920.000–1
Valid votes4,349,31895.37
Invalid/blank votes211,0744.63
Total votes4,560,392100.00
Registered voters/turnout5,846,26478.01
Source: MEC

Elected MPs

A partial list of elected MPs from 156 constituencies: [24]

Kezzie Kasambala Msukwa INDChitipa EastNorthern
Gertrude Hendrina Maseko DPPBalaka NorthSouthern
Nicholas Harry Dausi INDMwanza CentralSouthern
Paul Lackson Zakaliya Chibingu DPPMwanza WestSouthern
Felix Njawala INDBlantyre KabulaSouthern
Jeffrey Ntelemuka DPPBlantyre City South-EastSouthern
Henry Mussa DPPChiradzulu EastSouthern
Margaret Roka Mauwa DPPChiradzulu NorthSouthern
Eunice Kazembe DPPChiradzulu SouthSouthern
George Namatumbo DPPChiradzulu WestSouthern
Clement Terence Chiwaya UDFMangochi CentralSouthern
Fraser Nihorya DPPMulanje LimbuliSouthern
Stephen Namacha DPPMulanje NorthSouthern
Richie Bizwick Muheya DPPMulanje SouthSouthern
Patricia Annie Kaliati DPPMulanje WestSouthern
Geoffrey Henock Mbuzi DPPNtchisi North-EastCentral
Albert G.M. Doza Thindwa DPPRumphi EastNorthern
Prof. Moses C. Chirambo DPPRumphi CentralNorthern
Austin Jatula Mkandawire DPPRumphi WestNorthern
Tasokwa Caseby Msiska DPPRumphi NorthNorthern
Olivia Anita Thundu INDLikoma IslandsNorthern
Chimunthu Banda DPPNkhotakota NorthCentral
Daniel Liwimbi DPPNkhotakota North-EastCentral
Edwin Banda INDNkhotakota CentralCentral
Cassim Chilumpha Dr. INDNkhotakota SouthCentral
Agnes Mandevu M. Chatipwa INDNkhotakota South EastCentral
Chimango Chipimpha Mughogho INDChitipa SouthNorthern
Luwi Alinuwila Msongole DPPChitipa CentralNorthern
Aladin Nixon Masebo DPPChitipa NorthNorthern
Godfrey Mudulansi Munkhondya INDChitipa WenyaNorthern
Vincent Winstone Ghambi DPPKaronga NorthNorthern
Beatrice Kankhonde Mwangonde DPPKaronga North WestNorthern
Cornelius Thomson Mwalwanda INDKaronga CentralNorthern
Khwauli Msiska AFORDKaronga NyungweNorthern
Chembe Glad Munthali DPPKaronga SouthNorthern
Peter Nelson Mwanza DPPMzuzu CityNorthern
Goodall Edward Gondwe DPPMzimba NorthNorthern
Catherine Gotani Hara DPPMzimba North EastNorthern
Billy Kaunda INDMzimba WestNorthern
Paul Shawa INDMzimba SouthNorthern
Donton Samuel Job Mkandawire DPPMzimba CentralNorthern
Rev. Christopher S. Mzomera Ngwira NARCMzimba HoraNorthern
Dr Bofomo Immanuel Nyirenda DPPMzimba LuweleziNorthern
Patrick Akimu Mwanza DPPMzimba SoloraNorthern
Abbie Marambika Shaba DPPMzimba EastNorthern
Khumbo Hastings Kachali DPPMzimba South WestNorthern
Rabson Chihaula Shaba DPPMzimba South EastNorthern
Ephraim Mganda Chiume DPPNkhata-Bay NorthNorthern
Symon Vuwa Kaunda DPPNkhata-Bay CentralNorthern
Grace Chiumia DPPNkhata-Bay WestNorthern
David Yohane Kaweche DPPNkhata-Bay North WestNorthern
David Kapenyela Mphande DPPNkhata-Bay South EastNorthern
Etta Elizabeth Banda DPPNkhata-Bay SouthNorthern
McJones Mzondi Mandala Shaba DPPKasungu NorthCentral
Grenner Nkhata DPPKasungu North North-EastCentral
Otria Moyo Jere DPPKasungu WestCentral
Moses Arthur Chingayipe Mtegha DPPKasungu North-WestCentral
Vasco Mtunduwatha Chimbalu INDKasungu SouthCentral
Bokosi G Khamba DPPKasungu South EastCentral
Grenenger K. Msulira Banda DPPKasungu EastCentral
Ken Edward Kandodo DPPKasungu CentralCentral
Eugustine Gracewell Mtendere DPPKasungu North EastCentral
Victor Baudala sanjeni Songazaudzu DPPNtchisi EastCentral
Jermoth Ulemu Chilapondwa DPPNtchisi SouthCentral
Herbert Josiya Bimphi DPPNtchisi NorthCentral
Bauleni Jimmy Manna DPPDowa EastCentral
Hastings Petros Chitsamba DPPDowa South-EastCentral
Leckford Thotho Mwanza DPPDowa North-EastCentral
Ewart Cara Gawanani DPPDowa NgalaCentral
Jean Alfazema Nachika Kalilani DPPDowa CentralCentral
Abele Ephraim Kayembe INDDowa WestCentral
Benjamin Chikusa INDDowa NorthCentral
Yona Kamphamtengo MCPSalima NorthCentral
Benjamini Benzani Mangira DPPSalima CentralCentral
Uladi Mussa MPPSalima SouthCentral
Killiot Kufuna MCPSalima South-EastCentral
Deriah Kankhwani DPPSalima North-WestCentral
Rachel Zulu Mazombwe INDMchinji NorthCentral
Alex Chitete MCPMchinji North-EastCentral
Ellen Thokozani Solomoni Chisale DPPMchinji EastCentral
Theresa Gloria Mwale DPPMchinji WestCentral
Jerome Gervazio Waluza INDMchinji SouthCentral
Francis Leobin Mussa Banda DPPMchinji South-WestCentral
Patrick Zebron Chilondola MCPDedza NorthCentral
Sosten Gwengwe MCPDedza CentralCentral
Clement Claude Mlombwa MCPDedza South-WestCentral
Wodala Alekeni Menyani MCPDedza North-WestCentral
Hyacinta Palingana Chikaonda DPPDedza EastCentral
Phllipo Chinkhondo MCPDedza WestCentral
McSteyn Swithin Mkomba MCPDedza Central-EastCentral
John Zenas Ungapake Tembo MCPDedza SouthCentral
Everton Herbert Chimulirenji DPPNtcheu North-EastCentral
Stevin Stafford Kamwendo DPPNtcheu Bwanje NorthCentral
Grandson Lucious Kanyumba DPPNtcheu Bwanje SouthCentral
Jones Vincent Chingola DPPNtcheu CentralCentral
Damson Chimalira DPPNtcheu SouthCentral
Shadreck Assan Lipande DPPNtcheu NorthCentral
Chikumbutso John Hiwa DPPNtcheu WestCentral
Christina Winnie Chiwoko DPPLilongwe Mapuyu NorthCentral
Joseph Njovuyalema MCPLilongwe Mapuyu SouthCentral
Bazilio Lunia Titus Malipa MCPLilongwe NorthCentral
Vitus Gonamtunda Dzoole Mwale MCPLilongwe Msozi SouthCentral
Godfrey Kamanya INDLilongwe Msozi NorthCentral
Maureen Katani Bondo MCPLilongwe KumachengaCentral
Lefani Maxwell Thyolera MCPLilongwe North-EastCentral
Edwin Bhagwanji DPPLilongwe City WestCentral
Joyce A. Banda INDLilongwe Mpenu NkhomaCentral
Makala Watson Ngozo MCPLilongwe MpenuCentral
Gwengwe Alfred Willard MCPLilongwe South EastCentral
Ezakiel Peter Ching'oma MCPLilongwe EastCentral
Shadreck Jonasi DPPLilongwe City CentralCentral
Lobin Lowe MCPLilongwe CentralCentral
Ishmail Fillimon Chafukira MCPLilongwe North-WestCentral
Jolly Saweta Dyson Kalelo INDLilongwe City NorthCentral
Jean Muonaowuza Sendeza MCPLilongwe South WestCentral
Agnes Nandau Penumlungu DPPLilongwe City South EastCentral
Wells John Adam DPPLilongwe City South WestCentral
Peter Stanley Patisi Chalera MCPLilongwe Msinja NorthCentral
Lingson Kambewa W. Belekanyama MCPLilongwe Msinja SouthCentral
Patson Kachingwe Mthyoka MCPLilongwe SouthCentral
Yaumi Aufi Mpaweni UDFBalaka Central EastSouthern
Nasrin Pillane DPPBalaka WestSouthern
George Nnensa MafundeBalaka SouthSouthern
Ibrahim Imed Matola UDFMangochi NorthSouthern
Alfred Mkwanda Mwechumu UDFMangochi North-EastSouthern
Hassan Ailalie Ajinga UDFMangochi MalombeSouthern
Abukakar Mbaya UDFMangochi EastSouthern
Yusuf Billiati Matumula INDMangochi SouthSouthern
Asibu Shamil UDFMangochi South WestSouthern
Mahmudu John Lali UDFMangochi NkunguluSouthern
Stephen Okoma Atani Aipira INDMangochi WestSouthern
Ralph Pachalo Jooma DPPMangochi Monkey BaySouthern
Makumba Abdallah Shabani INDMangochi LutendeSouthern
Moffat Malisie Yakiti UDFMangochi MasongolaSouthern
Atupele Muluzi UDFMachinga North-EastSouthern
Shaibu Kaliati UDFMachinga CentralSouthern
Ernest Yahaya UDFMachinga Central EastSouthern
Kenneth Thomas Kamu UDFMachinga EastSouthern
Harry Fabiano Kamba UDFMachinga SouthSouthern
Mwalone Jangiya UDFMachinga LikwenuSouthern
Rev. Wilson Ndomondo UDFMachinga South EastSouthern
Jenipher Deborah Chilunga DPPZomba NsondoleSouthern
Annie Lemani Singani Anambewe DPPZomba ThondweSouthern
Lonie Phiri Chijere Chirwa DPPZomba ChingaleSouthern
Grace Zinenani Maseko DPPZomba ChangalumeSouthern
Enock Elias Luka DPPZomba LisanjalaSouthern
Joyce Banda DPPZomba MalosaSouthern
Ted Salule Masangwi DPPZomba NtonyaSouthern
Yunus Mussa DPPZomba CentralSouthern
MacRonald John Table Khwepeya INDZomba LikangalaSouthern
Peter Chizalo Mangulenje INDZomba ChisiSouthern
Reen Bessie Kachere DPPNeno SouthSouthern
Gladys Benson Tembo DPPNeno NorthSouthern


Mutharika and Joyce Banda were respectively sworn in as president and vice-president on 22 May 2009. The MCP boycotted the event, but Muluzi was present. [25] Some in the MCP called for the party to recognize Mutharika's victory and for Tembo to resign as MCP president. Tembo refused and vowed to legally challenge the results. [26]

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