2014 Malawian general election

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2014 Malawian general election
Flag of Malawi.svg
  2009 20 May 2014 (2014-05-20) 2019  
Turnout5,288,258 (70.78%) [1]
  Arthur Peter Mutharika 2014 (cropped).jpg Lazarus Chakwera 2017.jpg
Nominee Peter Mutharika Lazarus Chakwera
Running mate Saulos Chilima Richard Msowoya
Popular vote1,904,3991,455,880

Joyce Banda Department for International Development photo crop.jpg
Atupele at US Embassy (profile).jpg
Nominee Joyce Banda Atupele Muluzi
Party PP UDF
Running mate Sosten Gwengwe Godfrey Chapola
Popular vote1,056,236717,224

President before election

Joyce Banda


Peter Mutharika

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. [2] 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%. [3] Malawi has maintained a polity score of 6 since 2005, designating it as a democracy. [4] 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. [5]

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. [6]

The People's Party entered the election with a sitting president, but little in the way of a grass-roots machine. [5]

Presidential candidates

Twelve candidates were allowed to contest in the election by the Malawi Electoral Commission: [7]

PortraitNomineePartyRunning mate
Joyce Banda Department for International Development photo crop.jpg Joyce Banda People's Party (PP) Sosten Gwengwe
Peter Mutharika.jpg Peter Mutharika Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) Saulos Chilima
Mcp.mw-35 (cropped).jpg Lazarus Chakwera Malawi Congress Party (MCP) Richard Msowoya
Atupele at US Embassy (cropped).jpg Atupele Muluzi United Democratic Front (UDF)Godfrey Chapola
James Nyondo National Salvation Front (NASAF)Ethel Changa
Mark KatsongaProgressive Party Movement (PPM)Jacob Mbunge
Davis Katsonga Chipani cha Pfuko (CCP)Godfrey Matenganya
George NnesaTisinthe Alliance (TA)Sylvester Chabuka
Hellen SinghUnited Independent Party (UIP)Chrissy Tembo
Kamuzu Chibambo People's Transformation Party (Petra)White Scander
Hon- Friday Anderson Jumbe 2014-06-21 14-39.jpg Friday Jumbe Labour Party (LP)Joseph Kubwalo
John ChisiUmodzi Party (UP)William Tayub

Opinion polls

The Malawi Electoral Commission cautions that opinion pollsters in Malawi often have questionable credentials and publish biased reports. [8] Some opinion polls have been criticised for lacking credibility and using non-scientific methods. [9]

Poll sourceDateSample size Joyce Banda
Peter Mutharika
( DPP)
Lazarus Chakwera
Atupele Muluzi
Research Tech Consultants [9] April 20143,88342%10%23%10%
Nyasa Times Media [10] April 201479,03030%19%29%22%
Afrobarometer [11] April 20142,40014%27%21%14%
Election Results30 May 201420.2%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. [12]

Court action ensued, [13] 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. [14] 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. [15] Banda quickly said that she accepted the outcome, although she continued to describe the vote as "fraudulent". [16]

Mutharika was sworn in as president on the morning of 31 May 2014. [17] Banda congratulated Mutharika and called for national unity, urging the people to support the new president and wishing him success. [18] 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". [19]


CandidateRunning matePartyVotes%
Peter Mutharika Saulos Chilima Democratic Progressive Party 1,904,39936.42
Lazarus Chakwera Richard Msowoya Malawi Congress Party 1,455,88027.84
Joyce Banda Sosten Gwengwe People's Party 1,056,23620.20
Atupele Muluzi Godfrey Chapola United Democratic Front 717,22413.72
Kamuzu ChibamboWhite Scander People's Transformation Party 19,3600.37
Mark KatsongaJacob MbungeProgressive Party Movement15,8300.30
John ChisiWilliam TayubUmodzi Party12,0480.23
George NnesaSylvester ChabukaTisinthe Alliance11,0420.21
James Nyondo Ethel ChangaNational Salvation Front10,6230.20
Hellen SinghChrissy TemboUnited Independent Party9,6680.18
Friday Jumbe Joseph KubwaloLabour Party8,8190.17
Davis Katsonga Godfrey Matenganya Chipani cha Pfuko 7,4540.14
Valid votes5,228,58398.93
Invalid/blank votes56,6951.07
Total votes5,285,278100.00
Registered voters/turnout7,470,80670.75
Source: MEC

National Assembly

Democratic Progressive Party 1,133,40221.9851−63
People's Party 935,99418.1526New
Malawi Congress Party 895,65917.3748+22
United Democratic Front 496,7659.6314−3
Progressive Party Movement33,8170.6600
Alliance for Democracy 31,9070.6210
United Independent Party24,1320.470New
National Salvation Front19,6160.380New
Nthanda Congress Party16,4970.320New
New Rainbow Coalition14,0910.2700
Chipani cha Pfuko 10,5450.201New
New Labour Party4,4730.090New
Umodzi Party3,1450.060New
Malawi Forum for Unity and Development 2,8140.050−1
People's Transformation Party 2,7460.0500
Maravi People's Party 7330.010−1
People's Democratic Movement4710.010New
Valid votes5,157,29298.57
Invalid/blank votes74,8891.43
Total votes5,232,181100.00
Registered voters/turnout7,448,24770.25
Source: MEC, MEC

Local government

Democratic Progressive Party 165
Malawi Congress Party 131
People's Party 65
United Democratic Front 57
Chipani cha Pfuko 2
Alliance for Democracy 1
National Salvation Front1
Valid votes5,032,82397.65
Invalid/blank votes121,1702.35
Total votes5,153,993100.00
Source: Nyasa Times, Shanghai Daily

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