Malawi Political System

Political system

According to the 1995 Constitution, short for MW by Abbreviationfinder, Malawi is a republic, led by a president with great powers. The president is elected in general elections for a term of five years and may be re-elected. The president leads the government’s work and appoints the ministers.

The Legislative Parliament has 193 members who are also elected in general elections for a five-year term. Two-thirds of the members require support for changes in the constitution.

  • Countryaah: Total population and chart of Malawi for years of 2020, 2021, 2022, 2023 and 2024. Also covers population density, birth rate, death rate and population growth rates.

The political parties are strongly linked to different parts of the country and thus also to different ethnic groups. Ideology has a secondary role. It is common for Members of Parliament to change parties, even though the Constitution prohibits this.

A watershed in Malawian politics was the 1994 presidential and parliamentary elections, when the country’s lifetime nominee President Hastings Kamuzu Banda was forced to relinquish power after his party, the Malawi Congress Party (MCP), lost the parliamentary election to the opposition Democratic Front (United Democratic Front) UDF) which subsequently ruled until 2009.

The UDF split in 2005 when the then President Bingu wa Mutharika left the UDF and founded the Democratic Progress Party (DPP) which won the election in 2009 and has been ruling since then.

The MCP has been the country’s largest opposition party since the party lost power in 1994.

In third place comes the UDF and in fourth place is the People’s Party (PP) which was formed in 2011 as support party to Joyce Banda, the country’s then vice president and president 2012–2014. After the 2014 elections, the People’s Party was Parliament’s third largest party, but the party lost 80 percent of its mandate in the 2019 elections (see fact box).

The judiciary is characterized by a lack of resources and subject to political control. Respect for human rights is weak. Violence occurs, including torture, in the police, and deaths have been required. Thousands of prisoners are crowded into overcrowded prisons in miserable conditions.

Malawi Urban Population



The scandal scandal is growing

63 officials at the Ministry of Health are suspended following suspicion of involvement in the “cashgate”.


Seventeen are charged with corruption

17 people are charged for involvement in “cashgate”. One of them is Paul Mphwiyo’s former budget manager, Paul Mphwiyo, who made himself known for his fight against corruption. He was subjected to an assassination attempt (see September 2013) when he was allegedly about to reveal corruption within the state administration.


Assistance against AIDS

Malawi is granted $ 332 million in aid from, among other things, the United States, the EU and the UN to fight the spread of AIDS and other diseases.


Former high party official convicted of embezzlement

Oswald Lutepo, a businessman and formerly senior official in the ruling People’s Party, is sentenced to 11 years in prison for involvement in the “cashgate”. He is considered to be one of the prime responsible for the embezzlement of state money.


The President saves on travel

President Mutharika abstains from a regional summit in Botswana to save money. The Treasury is almost empty since foreign aid for about the equivalent of $ 150 million was frozen after the disclosure of the “cashgate” corruption scandal, where the equivalent of $ 30 million was embezzled during the first half of 2013. The president would have led a delegation of over 30 people.

HD judges criticize corruption

Supreme Court President Andrew Nyirenda stirs up some excitement by saying publicly that corruption permeates the entire Malawian society, “on the street, in the public sector and in the private sector”. He urges authorities, community organizations, the judiciary and the police to fight corruption together with joint forces.


New free trade agreement

Malawi and 25 other countries agree on a new free trade agreement, the Tripartite Free Trade Area, which covers most of Africa between Egypt in the north and South Africa in the south. However, before the agreement can come into force, negotiations are required and the agreement is approved by the parliaments of the countries.


The former army chief seized

The country’s former army chief General Henry Odillo and his closest man are arrested accused of being involved in the “cashgate” legacy. They should have paid over $ 4 million for goods that were never delivered.