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This article lists political parties in Malawi. Malawi has a multi-party system with over 40 registered political parties. The political process in Malawi is such that parties are voted into power. Parties participate in an electoral process. The parties with the most representation in the National Assembly are the People's Party (PP), Malawi Congress Party (MCP), United Democratic Front (UDF), and Democratic Progressive Party (DPP).
The rise of multi-party rule in Malawi
The Nyasaland African Congress led the anti-colonial movements in Malawi under the leadership of Kamuzu Banda. When the NAC was banned it changed its name to the Malawi Congress Party which led Malawi to independence and continued to rule from 1964 until 1994, under a one party state system. This system was challenged by political activists throughout the years, however Banda's dictatorship suppressed opposition, creating a culture of silence.
By 1992, Chakufwa Chihana, a trade unionist, lecturer and activist, became the catalyst for a multi-party system in Malawi. He led an underground political movement that aimed at democratic multi-party rule. He was the first person to openly challenge the system. He was arrested in 1992 when he returned to Malawi and his arrest heightened both domestic and international pressure. Chihana's freedom was supported by Amnesty International as well as the Robert F. Kennedy Association. Due to growing pressure, Banda agreed to hold a referendum to let the public decide on the issue of multi-party rule. During the 1993 referendum, Malawians voted for a multi-party system and it became legal to form political parties in Malawi. Chihana's movement lead to the formation of his party, Alliance for Democracy (AFORD). Other prominent parties formed and emerged as well, notably the United Democratic Front which was founded by Bakili Muluzi. Malawi's first multi-party elections were held in 1994. The MCP contested in these elections as well. The UDF under the charismatic Bakili Muluzi won these elections becoming the first party that was democratically voted into power in Malawi. Chihana's party came third, and he was awarded the position of second Vice-President. However, Chihana has made his mark on Malawi's history and is known as the "father of democracy" in Malawi. Malawi had peacefully ushered in multi-party rule which continues until today.
The parties (in alphabetical order)
- Alliance for Democracy (AFORD) – Founded in 1993 by Chakufwa Chihana
- Democratic Progressive Party – in 2005 by Bingu wa Mutharika
- Malawi Congress Party – Founded in 1959 by Hastings Banda
- Mgwirizano Coalition
- National Democratic Alliance
- People's Party (PP) – Founded in 2011 by Joyce Banda
- Umodzi Party (Malawi) (UP) - Founded in 2013 by John E Chisi
- United Democratic Front – Founded in 1994 by Bakili Muluzi
Table of political parties
|Coalition Name||Acronym||Coalition Parties||Year(s)||President||Vice-President||Party Colors||Slogan||Emblem||Status|
|Mgwirizano Coalition||MC||MDP, MAFUNDE, MGDC, NUP, PPM, PETRA, RP||2004||P||VP||PC||S||E||Dissolved|
|Grand Coalition||GC||CODE, PP, PPM, PETRA, UDF||2011–present||P||VP||PC||S||E||Active|
Party by year
- 2014 - Present (DPP)
- 2012 - 2014 (PP)
- 2009 – 2012 (DPP)
- 1994 – 2009 (UDF)
- 1964 – 1994 (MCP)
- Cordrey, James (13 June 1993). "Malawi Opposition Leader Tells of Years in Prison Chakufwa Chihana Thanked The Local Chapter of Amnesty International For His Release. - Philly.com". Articles.philly.com.
- Shola Adenekan. "Obituary: Chakufwa Chihana | News". The Guardian.
- "Chakufwa Chihana Video | Interviews". Ovguide.com.