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.
Malawi's CPI increased by 27.7% in 2013, but its GDP grew by only 5%.Malawi has maintained a polity score of 6 since 2005, designating it as a democracy. Malawi's previous presidential election in 2009 was only the fourth such election in the country's history following the end of Hastings Banda's period of one-man rule in 1994.
Bingu wa Mutharika, who had won the 2004 election, picked his foreign minister Joyce Banda to be vice president after successfully contesting the 2009 election. She was expelled from the Democratic Progressive Party and formed the People's Party when she refused to endorse President Bingu wa Mutharika's younger brother Peter Mutharika for president in the 2014 general election.
Bingu wa Mutharika died of a heart attack on 5 April 2012, and Joyce Banda took the presidency two days later, in accordance with the constitution, despite protests from some ruling party officials that Banda's expulsion from the ruling party made her ineligible.
The People's Party entered the election with a sitting president, but little in the way of a grass-roots machine.
Twelve candidates were allowed to contest in the election by the Malawi Electoral Commission:
|Joyce Banda||People's Party (PP)||Sosten Gwengwe|
|Peter Mutharika||Democratic Progressive Party (DPP)||Saulos Chilima|
|Lazarus Chakwera||Malawi Congress Party (MCP)||Richard Msowoya|
|Atupele Muluzi||United Democratic Front (UDF)||Godfrey Chapola|
|James Nyondo||National Salvation Front (NASAF)||Ethel Changa|
|Mark Katsonga||Progressive Party Movement (PPM)||Jacob Mbunge|
|Davis Katsonga||Chipani cha Pfuko (CCP)||Godfrey Matenganya|
|George Nnesa||Tisinthe Alliance (TA)||Sylvester Chabuka|
|Hellen Singh||United Independent Party (UIP)||Chrissy Tembo|
|Kamuzu Chibambo||People's Transformation Party (Petra)||White Scander|
|Friday Jumbe||Labour Party (LP)||Joseph Kubwalo|
|John Chisi||Umodzi Party (UP)||William Tayub|
The Malawi Electoral Commission cautions that opinion pollsters in Malawi often have questionable credentials and publish biased reports.Some opinion polls have been criticised for lacking credibility and using non-scientific methods.
|Poll source||Date||Sample size|| Joyce Banda |
| Peter Mutharika |
| Lazarus Chakwera |
| Atupele Muluzi |
|Research Tech Consultants||April 2014||3,883||42%||10%||23%||10%|
|Nyasa Times Media||April 2014||79,030||30%||19%||29%||22%|
|Election Results||30 May 2014||20.2%||36.4%||27.8%||13.7%|
Amid a breakdown in electronic systems for relaying results back to IEC headquarters, Banda claimed fraud and attempted to cancel the election after only one third of the votes were counted, and Peter Mutharika, brother of the president who died in 2012, was well ahead. Banda said another vote should be held within 90 days, and she said she would not be standing, but opposition parties and the Malawi Law Society objected.
Court action ensued,but the IEC said the first count would be completed, and a recount started. The result would only be announced after the recount, estimated to take two months. On 30 May 2014, the High Court ruled that any recount must be done within eight days of the vote; since the allowed period had already ended, the court ruled that the electoral commission should announce the results. Accordingly, the electoral commission declared later in the day that Mutharika had won the presidential election with 36.4% of the vote. Another opposition candidate, Lazarus Chakwera of the MCP, received 27.8%, while Banda trailed in third place with 20.2%. The head of the commission, Maxon Mbendera, said that "the rule of law compels us to release the results", although he acknowledged that some of the commission's members had "reservations" about them. Banda quickly said that she accepted the outcome, although she continued to describe the vote as "fraudulent".
Mutharika was sworn in as president on the morning of 31 May 2014.Banda congratulated Mutharika and called for national unity, urging the people to support the new president and wishing him success. An inauguration ceremony for Mutharika was held in Blantyre on 2 June 2014. Banda was not present at the inauguration, held at Kamuzu Stadium, and her absence was viewed by some as a snub, given the history of bitter rivalry between the two. Mutharika said that he was offering an olive branch and wanted to "bury the past", expressing "regret" at Banda's absence. He said that he was not interested in "vengeance", although he added that "those who have broken the law will face the full course of justice".
|Peter Mutharika||Saulos Chilima||Democratic Progressive Party||1,904,399||36.42|
|Lazarus Chakwera||Richard Msowoya||Malawi Congress Party||1,455,880||27.84|
|Joyce Banda||Sosten Gwengwe||People's Party||1,056,236||20.20|
|Atupele Muluzi||Godfrey Chapola||United Democratic Front||717,224||13.72|
|Kamuzu Chibambo||White Scander||People's Transformation Party||19,360||0.37|
|Mark Katsonga||Jacob Mbunge||Progressive Party Movement||15,830||0.30|
|John Chisi||William Tayub||Umodzi Party||12,048||0.23|
|George Nnesa||Sylvester Chabuka||Tisinthe Alliance||11,042||0.21|
|James Nyondo||Ethel Changa||National Salvation Front||10,623||0.20|
|Hellen Singh||Chrissy Tembo||United Independent Party||9,668||0.18|
|Friday Jumbe||Joseph Kubwalo||Labour Party||8,819||0.17|
|Davis Katsonga||Godfrey Matenganya||Chipani cha Pfuko||7,454||0.14|
|Democratic Progressive Party||1,133,402||21.98||51||−63|
|Malawi Congress Party||895,659||17.37||48||+22|
|United Democratic Front||496,765||9.63||14||−3|
|Progressive Party Movement||33,817||0.66||0||0|
|Alliance for Democracy||31,907||0.62||1||0|
|United Independent Party||24,132||0.47||0||New|
|National Salvation Front||19,616||0.38||0||New|
|Nthanda Congress Party||16,497||0.32||0||New|
|New Rainbow Coalition||14,091||0.27||0||0|
|Chipani cha Pfuko||10,545||0.20||1||New|
|New Labour Party||4,473||0.09||0||New|
|Malawi Forum for Unity and Development||2,814||0.05||0||−1|
|People's Transformation Party||2,746||0.05||0||0|
|Maravi People's Party||733||0.01||0||−1|
|People's Democratic Movement||471||0.01||0||New|
|Source: MEC, MEC|
|Democratic Progressive Party||165|
|Malawi Congress Party||131|
|United Democratic Front||57|
|Chipani cha Pfuko||2|
|Alliance for Democracy||1|
|National Salvation Front||1|
|Source: Nyasa Times, Shanghai Daily|
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