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AFRICAN ELECTIONS DATABASE

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Elections in Malawi
 
Political Profile
Political System: Democracy
President: Joyce Banda (PP) [since 7 April 2012; took office following the death of President Bingu wa Mutharika, who was elected in 2009] The President is elected by popular vote for a 5-year term. Electoral System: First Past The Post.
National Assembly [unicameral] (193 Seats) Members are elected by popular vote to serve 5-year terms. Electoral System: First Past The Post.
Electoral Authority: Malawi Electoral Commission
Political Situation since Independence
1964-1966 [De-Facto] One Party State
1966-1993 One Party State (MCP)
1993-1994 Multiparty Transition
1994-        Democracy
2012 Freedom House Rating: Political Rights - 3, Civil Liberties - 4, Status: Partly Free
Next Scheduled Presidential Election: 2014
Next Scheduled National Assembly Election: 2014
Political Parties: AFORD - Alliance for Democracy (progressive, centrist), CLP - Christian Liberation Party, CONU - Congress for National Unity, CSR - Congress for the Second Republic, DPP - Democratic Progressive Party, MAFUNDE - Malawi Forum for Unity and Development, MCP - Malawi Congress Party (authoritarian, conservative), MDP - Malawi Democratic Party, MDU - Malawi Democratic Union, MGODE - Movement for Genuine Democracy, MMYG [MM] - Mass Movement for the Young Generation, MNDP - Malawi National Democratic Party, MPP - Maravi People's Party, NARC - New Rainbow Coalition, NDA - National Democratic Alliance, NPF - National Patriotic Front, NUP - National Unity Party, PETRA - People's Transformation Party, PP - People's Party, PPM - People's Progressive Movement, RP - Republican Party, SDP - Social Democratic Party, SNDP - Sapitwa National Democratic Party, UDF - United Democratic Front (center-left), UFMD - United Front for Multi-Party Democracy, UFP - United Federal Party, UP - United Party.
Coalitions: Malawi Congress Party-Alliance for Democracy (MCP-AFORD) [Contested the 1999 Presidential Election]; Malawi Congress Party-United Democratic Front (MCP-UDF) [Contested the 2009 Presidential Election], Mgwirizano Coalition [Contested the 2004 Presidential and National Assembly Elections] Member parties include the Republican Party (RP), Malawi Forum for Unity and Development (MAFUNDE), People's Transformation Party (PETRA), National Unity Party (NUP), Malawi Democratic Party (MDP), People's Progressive Movement (PPM), and the Movement for Genuine Democracy (MGODE).
 
Election Results
 
 
Presidential: 1994, 1999, 2004, 2009
Legislative
--Single Party: 1964, 1971, 19761978, 1983, 1987, 1992
--Multiparty: 1961, 1994, 1999, 2004, 2009
Referendum: 1993
 
 
15 August 1961 Legislative Council Election

_

Lower Roll          Upper Roll

Registered Voters

75,707               4,401

Total Votes (Voter Turnout)

Not Available     Not Available

Invalid/Blank Votes

Not Available     Not Available

Total Valid Votes

72,538               3,725

Party Lower Roll Upper Roll Number of Seats (28)
Number of Votes % of Votes Number of Seats (20) Number of Votes % of Votes Number of Seats (8)
Malawi Congress Party (MCP) 71,659 98.79% 20 385 10.34% 2 22
United Federal Party (UFP) 607 0.84% - 2,108 56.59% 5 5
Christian Liberation Party (CLP) 272 0.37% - - - - -
Independents - - - 1,232 33.07% 1 1
 
28 April 1964 National Assembly Election
There was only one Malawi Congress Party (MCP) candidate in each of the 50 constituencies and all were declared elected without elections taking place. An additional three seats were reserved for Europeans. In 1966, the number of seats reserved for Europeans increased to five. In 1970, the number of seats in the National Assembly increased to 60.
 
Single Party Elections
Sole Legal Party: Malawi Congress Party (MCP)
17 April 1971 National Assembly Election* (60 Seats)
*There was only one candidate in each constituency and all were declared elected without elections taking place. In 1973, the number of seats in the National Assembly increased to 63, and the five seats reserved for Europeans were abolished.
22 May 1976 National Assembly Election* (85 Seats)
*There was only one candidate in each constituency and all were declared elected without elections taking place.
29 June 1978 National Assembly Election (87 Seats)
A total of 40 seats were contested by one candidate, while 47 were contested by two to five candidates. In the unopposed constituencies, 33 members were elected and the remaining remaining seven seats were declared vacant because the candidates had failed a test of proficiency in the English language, which is the language of debate in the legislature. Incumbents were defeated in 31 of the 47 contested constituencies.
29-30 June 1983 National Assembly Election (101 Seats)

Registered Voters

3,278,907

Total Votes (Voter Turnout)

Not Available

A total of 34 incumbents were re-elected, including 21 who ran unopposed. 64 new members were elected and three seats remained vacant.
27-28 May 1987 National Assembly Election (112 Seats)

Registered Voters

3,278,907

Total Votes (Voter Turnout)

Not Available

38 members ran unopposed and 53 incumbents were defeated. The number of registered voters remained unchanged from the previous election.
26-27 June 1992 National Assembly Election (141 Seats)

Registered Voters

2,203,103

Total Votes (Voter Turnout)

   859,318 (39.0%)

45 members ran unopposed and 62 incumbents were defeated.
Note: Prime Minister Hastings Kamuzu Banda was unanimously elected president by the National Assembly on 6 July 1966 when Malawi became a republic. The National Assembly declared Banda president-for-life on 6 July 1971.
 
14 June 1993 Referendum [Results by Region & District]
Main Points: Introduction of a multiparty system or maintain the single party system

Registered Voters

4,699,527

Total Votes (Voter Turnout)

3,153,448 (67.1%)

Invalid/Blank Votes

     70,979

Total Valid Votes

3,082,469

Results Number of Votes % of Votes
Multiparty System 1,993,996 64.69%
Single Party System 1,088,473 35.31%
 
17 May 1994 Presidential Election* [Results by Region & District]

Registered Voters

3,775,256

Total Votes (Voter Turnout)

3,041,373 (80.6%)

Invalid/Blank Votes

     61,780

Total Valid Votes

2,979,593

Candidate (Party) Number of Votes % of Votes
Bakili Muluzi (UDF) 1,404,754 47.15%
Hastings Kamuzu Banda (MCP) 996,353 33.44%
Chakufwa Chihana (AFORD) 562,862 18.89%
Kampelo Kalua (MDP) 15,624 0.52%
*Official results published in the Malawi Government Gazette state that 2,978,885 valid votes were cast, but the distribution of votes among candidates totals 2,979,593 (a difference of 708 votes). Percentage figures in the table are based on the latter number of valid votes cast.
 
17 May 1994 National Assembly Election

Registered Voters

3,775,256

Total Votes (Voter Turnout)

3,034,800 (80.4%)

Invalid/Blank Votes

     71,188

Total Valid Votes

2,963,612

Party Number of Votes % of Votes Number of Seats (177)
United Democratic Front (UDF) 1,375,878 46.43% 84
Malawi Congress Party (MCP) 996,047 33.61% 55
Alliance for Democracy (AFORD) 563,417 19.01% 36
United Front for Multi-Party Democracy (UFMD) 28,270 0.95% -
Malawi Democratic Party (MDP) -
Malawi National Democratic Party (MNDP) -
Congress for the Second Republic (CSR) -
Malawi Democratic Union (MDU) -
Independents -
Invalidated* - - 2
*The results in two constituencies were invalidated due to irregularities on election day. In by-elections conducted on 28 June 1994, the UDF and MCP each won a seat, bringing their final totals to 85 and 56, respectively.
 
15 June 1999 Presidential Election [Results by Region & District]

Registered Voters

5,071,822

Total Votes (Voter Turnout)

4,755,422 (93.8%)

Invalid/Blank Votes

     91,671

Total Valid Votes

4,663,751

Candidate (Party) [Coalition] Number of Votes % of Votes
Bakili Muluzi (UDF) 2,442,685 52.38%
Gwanda Chakuamba (MCP) [MCP-AFORD] 2,106,790 45.17%
Kamlepo Kalua (MDP) 67,856 1.45%
Daniel Nkhumbwe (CONU) 24,347 0.52%
Bingu wa Mutharika (UP) 22,073 0.47%
 
15 June 1999 National Assembly Election [Seats Won by Region]

Registered Voters

5,059,736

Total Votes (Voter Turnout)

Not Available

Invalid/Blank Votes

Not Available

Total Valid Votes

4,492,157

Party Number of Votes % of Votes Number of Seats (193)
United Democratic Front (UDF) 2,124,999 47.30% 93
Malawi Congress Party (MCP) 1,518,548 33.80% 66
Alliance for Democracy (AFORD) 474,215 10.56% 29
Malawi Democratic Party (MDP) 54,459 1.21% -
Malawi Democratic Union (MDU) -
Mass Movement for the Young Generation (MMYG) -
National Patriotic Front (NPF) -
Social Democratic Party (SDP) -
Sapitwa National Democratic Party (SNDP) -
United Party (UP) -
Independents 319,936 7.12% 4
Vacant* - - 1
*The election was postponed in one constituency (Mchinji West) due to the death of a candidate.
 
20 May 2004 Presidential Election [Results by Region]

Registered Voters

5,752,028

Total Votes (Voter Turnout)

3,413,565 (59.3%)

Invalid/Blank Votes

     89,764

Total Valid Votes

3,323,801

Candidate (Party) [Coalition] Number of Votes % of Votes
Bingu wa Mutharika (UDF) 1,195,586 35.97%
John Tembo (MCP) 937,965 28.22%
Gwanda Chakuamba (RP) [Mgwirizano Coalition] 836,118 25.16%
Brown Mpinganjira (NDA) 286,320 8.61%
Justin Malewezi 67,812 2.04%
 
20 May 2004 National Assembly Election

Registered Voters

5,700,000 (approx.)

Total Votes (Voter Turnout)

Not Available (N/A)

Invalid/Blank Votes

Not Available

Total Valid Votes

3,161,587

Party/Coalition Number of Votes % of Votes Number of Seats (193)
Malawi Congress Party (MCP) 785,671 24.85% 57
United Democratic Front (UDF) 801,200 25.34% 49
Mgwirizano Coalition* - - 25

Republican Party (RP) (231,002) (7.31%)
15
People's Progressive Movement (PPM) (98,548) (3.12%) 6
Movement for Genuine Democratic Change (MGODE) (53,127) (1.68%) 3
People's Transformation Party (PETRA) (21,153) (0.67%) 1
National Democratic Alliance (NDA) 256,713 8.12% 9
Alliance for Democracy (AFORD) 114,017 3.61% 6
Congress for National Unity (CONU) 7,410 0.23% 1
Others 26,609 0.84% -
Independents 766,137 24.23% 40
Undecided** - - 6
*The Malawi Forum for Unity and Development (MAFUNDE), National Unity Party (NUP), and Malawi Democratic Party (MDP) were also members of the Mgwirizano Coalition, but didn't win any seats in the election. Since the number and percentage of votes received by candidates of these parties isn't available, complete figures regarding the number and percentage of votes received by the Mgwirizano Coalition cannot be determined.
**Polling was postponed in six of the 193 districts due to errors with ballot papers.
 
19 May 2009 Presidential Election

Registered Voters

5,871,819

Total Votes (Voter Turnout)

4,595,902 (78.3%)

Invalid/Blank Votes

   117,028

Total Valid Votes

4,478,874

Candidate (Party) [Coalition] Number of Votes % of Votes
Bingu wa Mutharika (DPP) 2,963,820 66.17%
John Tembo (MCP) [MCP-UDF] 1,365,672 30.49%
Kamuzu Chibambo (PETRA) 35,358 0.79%
Stanley Masauli (RP) 33,982 0.76%
Loveness Gondwe (NARC) 32,432 0.72%
James Nyondo 27,460 0.61%
Dindi Gowa Nyasulu (AFORD) 20,150 0.45%
 
19 May 2009 National Assembly Election

Registered Voters

5,900,000 (approx.)

Total Votes (Voter Turnout)

Not Available (N/A)

Party Number of Seats (193)
Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) 113
Malawi Congress Party (MCP) 27
United Democratic Front (UDF) 17
Alliance for Democracy (AFORD) 1
Malawi Forum for Unity and Development (MAFUNDE) 1
Maravi People's Party (MPP) 1
Independents 32
Vacant* 1
*The election was postponed in one constituency (Blantyre City Central) due to the death of a candidate. A by-election was held in August 2009, which was won by an independent candidate, increasing their representation to 33.