2009 Malawian general election

← 2004 19 May 2009 (2009-05-19) 2014 →
Presidential election
Nominee Bingu wa Mutharika John Tembo
Running mate Joyce Banda Brown Mpinganjira
Popular vote 2,963,820 1,365,672
Percentage 66.17% 30.49%

President before election

Bingu wa Mutharika


Bingu wa Mutharika

General elections were held in Malawi on 19 May 2009. Incumbent President Bingu wa Mutharika ran for re-election; his main opponent was John Tembo, the president of the Malawi Congress Party (MCP). Five other candidates also ran.[1] The election was won by Mutharika, who was re-elected to the Presidency with around two-thirds of the vote.[2] Mutharika's DPP also won a strong parliamentary majority.[3]

Electoral system

Voter registration started in August 2008 and was scheduled to end on 29 November 2008, but on 20 November (by which time 3.5 million voters had been registered) it was announced that registration would be extended into December. This extension was caused by problems related to digital cameras that were necessary to the process.[4]

Between 2 February and 6 February, presidential and parliamentary candidates submitted their nomination papers.[5] The official campaigning period began on 17 March and is scheduled to conclude on 17 May. Parliament was dissolved on 20 March, in accordance with the constitution,[6] and subsequently the Malawi Electoral Commission (MEC)will announce which candidates have been deemed eligible.[7]


On 22 October 2008, Hetherwick Ntaba, the Secretary-General of the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP), announced that the DPP national governing council had unanimously endorsed Mutharika as the party's presidential candidate a few days earlier.[8] However, Foreign Minister Joyce Banda said on 16 January 2009 that Mutharika felt the endorsement of the council was inadequate and that he wanted the endorsement of the party's base. Therefore, he sought the backing of the delegates at a DPP convention.[9] Later, as the DPP presidential candidate, Mutharika chose Banda as his vice-presidential candidate.[10]

Bakili Muluzi, who was designated as the UDF's (United Democratic Front) presidential candidate, previously served two terms as president from 1994 to 2004. According to the constitution, a president is allowed to serve no more than two consecutive five-year terms. Because Muluzi had been out of office since 2004, his supporters argued that the term limit should not apply to him, as it did not restrict nonconsecutive terms if interpreted literally.[5]

Speaking to Capital Radio on 22 February 2009, Muluzi accused the government of using intimidation against his candidacy and warned that such conduct could lead to "problems".[7] A few days later, he was charged by the Anti-Corruption Bureau with stealing 12 million dollars of aid money; he appeared before a court in Blantyre and was released on bail.[11] The Electoral Commission stated he was not eligible to run again, but his supporters are calling for an official court decision instead.[12] On 16 May, only three days before the election, the Constitutional Court ruled that Muluzi could not run again.[13]

MCP President John Tembo was considered the main opposition candidate, and the MCP formed an electoral alliance with the UDF prior to the election.[1] Tembo's vice-presidential candidate was Brown Mpinganjira of the UDF.[14] Observing that the DPP had never participated in an election (it was founded in 2005), Tembo argued that he and the MCP had the experience to govern the country properly: "I belong to the past, I belong to the present and I also belong to the future."[15]

Independent candidate James Nyondo submitted his nomination papers on 4 February and claims to have sponsored over 120 independent parliamentary candidates by paying the MK 100,000 ($700 USD) nomination fee. He is the only independent candidate in the 2009 presidential election and has campaigned on the need for a new generation of leadership, a smaller cabinet, and an end to the personal extravagance of the current and previous governments.[16][17][18]

Loveness Gondwe of the New Rainbow Coalition submitted her presidential candidacy on 3 February, becoming the first woman to run for president in Malawi. She stressed the importance of holding a free and fair election and avoiding the kind of post-election turmoil that affected Kenya and Zimbabwe in 2008.[19]

Observers expected a close election between the two strongest candidates, Mutharika and Tembo. While Tembo enjoyed the united backing of the country's two most established and powerful parties—the MCP and the UDF—he faced an incumbent president who had presided over strong economic growth of 8%, and the outcome was considered uncertain.[15]

Mutharika, who was 75 years old at the time of the election, said that he would retire from politics if he lost the election and that he would retire in 2014 if he was successful in winning a second term.[15]


On the day of the election, Joy Radio, which is owned by UDF Chairman Bakili Muluzi, was closed by the police after it broadcast a satire that lampooned Mutharika. Two of the station's presenters and a technician were arrested.[20] Tembo alleged that the government had committed electoral fraud with opposition poll agents being denied access to the vote counting centres. An EU observation team also noted that state television had failed to be neutral during the election campaigns, supporting the government.[21]


The Malawi Electoral Commission declared that Bingu wa Mutharika had won the presidential election on 21 May 2009, after 93% of votes had been counted.[21] Mutharika gained 2.9 million votes with John Tembo, his nearest rival, winning 1.4 million.

In the National Assembly elections, the DPP won 114 seats (though the election of the vice president vacated one of those), obtaining a strong majority in the 193-seat National Assembly, while the MCP trailed distantly with 26 seats and the UDF won only 17.[3] Mutharika and the DPP won an overwhelming victory in northern Malawi, but also performed well in the central and southern regions, although those regions have been historically dominated by the MCP and UDF respectively. Some analysts suggested that this election marked a departure from Malawi's traditional voting patterns, which are heavily influenced by region.[22] Unlike Tembo, Muluzi accepted the official results of the election.[3] 32 independent MPs were elected, though many of those started joining the DPP after the election; one seat was won by the Maravi People's Party (MPP), the Alliance for Democracy (Aford) and the Malawi Forum for Unity and Development (MAFUNDE). In one constituency, the election was postponed.[23]


CandidateRunning matePartyVotes%
Bingu wa MutharikaJoyce BandaDemocratic Progressive Party2,963,82066.17
John TemboBrown MpinganjiraMalawi Congress Party1,365,67230.49
Kamuzu Walter ChibamboStanley Alex Robert MnenulaPeople's Transformation Party35,3580.79
Stanley Edingtone MasauliSophie KuthyolaRepublican Party33,9820.76
Loveness GondweBeatrice Roseby MwaleNew Rainbow Coalition32,4320.72
James Mbowe Nyondo]Vivian Mark ThunyaniIndependent27,4600.61
Dindi Gowa NyasuluChinkhokwe Tyson BandaAlliance for Democracy20,1500.45
Valid votes4,478,87497.45
Invalid/blank votes117,0282.55
Total votes4,595,902100.00
Registered voters/turnout5,871,81978.27
Source: African Elections Database

National Assembly

Democratic Progressive Party1,739,20239.99114New
Malawi Congress Party562,85912.9426–31
United Democratic Front562,02512.9217–32
People's Progressive Movement48,3891.110–6
New Republican Party43,0090.990New
Alliance for Democracy38,4270.881–5
New Rainbow Coalition30,8470.710New
Congress of Democrats19,4320.450New
Maravi People's Party17,6090.401New
People's Transformation Party8,4980.200–1
Malawi Forum for Unity and Development6,8310.161+1
Republican Party4,1110.090–15
Malawi Democratic Party4560.0100
National Patriotic Front4380.010New
National Unity Party2840.0100
People's Popular Front1280.000New
Congress for National Unity920.000–1
Valid votes4,349,31895.37
Invalid/blank votes211,0744.63
Total votes4,560,392100.00
Registered voters/turnout5,846,26478.01
Source: MEC

Elected MPs

A partial list of elected MPs from 156 constituencies:[24]

MP Party Constituency Region
Kezzie Kasambala Msukwa IND Chitipa East Northern
Gertrude Hendrina Maseko DPP Balaka North Southern
Nicholas Harry Dausi IND Mwanza Central Southern
Paul Lackson Zakaliya Chibingu DPP Mwanza West Southern
Felix Njawala IND Blantyre Kabula Southern
Jeffrey Ntelemuka DPP Blantyre City South-East Southern
Henry Mussa DPP Chiradzulu East Southern
Margaret Roka Mauwa DPP Chiradzulu North Southern
Eunice Kazembe DPP Chiradzulu South Southern
George Namatumbo DPP Chiradzulu West Southern
Clement Terence Chiwaya UDF Mangochi Central Southern
Fraser Nihorya DPP Mulanje Limbuli Southern
Stephen Namacha DPP Mulanje North Southern
Richie Bizwick Muheya DPP Mulanje South Southern
Patricia Annie Kaliati DPP Mulanje West Southern
Geoffrey Henock Mbuzi DPP Ntchisi North-East Central
Albert G.M. Doza Thindwa DPP Rumphi East Northern
Prof. Moses C. Chirambo DPP Rumphi Central Northern
Austin Jatula Mkandawire DPP Rumphi West Northern
Tasokwa Caseby Msiska DPP Rumphi North Northern
Olivia Anita Thundu IND Likoma Islands Northern
Chimunthu Banda DPP Nkhotakota North Central
Daniel Liwimbi DPP Nkhotakota North-East Central
Edwin Banda IND Nkhotakota Central Central
Cassim Chilumpha Dr. IND Nkhotakota South Central
Agnes Mandevu M. Chatipwa IND Nkhotakota South East Central
Chimango Chipimpha Mughogho IND Chitipa South Northern
Luwi Alinuwila Msongole DPP Chitipa Central Northern
Aladin Nixon Masebo DPP Chitipa North Northern
Godfrey Mudulansi Munkhondya IND Chitipa Wenya Northern
Vincent Winstone Ghambi DPP Karonga North Northern
Beatrice Kankhonde Mwangonde DPP Karonga North West Northern
Cornelius Thomson Mwalwanda IND Karonga Central Northern
Khwauli Msiska AFORD Karonga Nyungwe Northern
Chembe Glad Munthali DPP Karonga South Northern
Peter Nelson Mwanza DPP Mzuzu City Northern
Goodall Edward Gondwe DPP Mzimba North Northern
Catherine Gotani Hara DPP Mzimba North East Northern
Billy Kaunda IND Mzimba West Northern
Paul Shawa IND Mzimba South Northern
Donton Samuel Job Mkandawire DPP Mzimba Central Northern
Rev. Christopher S. Mzomera Ngwira NARC Mzimba Hora Northern
Dr Bofomo Immanuel Nyirenda DPP Mzimba Luwelezi Northern
Patrick Akimu Mwanza DPP Mzimba Solora Northern
Abbie Marambika Shaba DPP Mzimba East Northern
Khumbo Hastings Kachali DPP Mzimba South West Northern
Rabson Chihaula Shaba DPP Mzimba South East Northern
Ephraim Mganda Chiume DPP Nkhata-Bay North Northern
Symon Vuwa Kaunda DPP Nkhata-Bay Central Northern
Grace Chiumia DPP Nkhata-Bay West Northern
David Yohane Kaweche DPP Nkhata-Bay North West Northern
David Kapenyela Mphande DPP Nkhata-Bay South East Northern
Etta Elizabeth Banda DPP Nkhata-Bay South Northern
McJones Mzondi Mandala Shaba DPP Kasungu North Central
Grenner Nkhata DPP Kasungu North North-East Central
Otria Moyo Jere DPP Kasungu West Central
Moses Arthur Chingayipe Mtegha DPP Kasungu North-West Central
Vasco Mtunduwatha Chimbalu IND Kasungu South Central
Bokosi G Khamba DPP Kasungu South East Central
Grenenger K. Msulira Banda DPP Kasungu East Central
Ken Edward Kandodo DPP Kasungu Central Central
Eugustine Gracewell Mtendere DPP Kasungu North East Central
Victor Baudala sanjeni Songazaudzu DPP Ntchisi East Central
Jermoth Ulemu Chilapondwa DPP Ntchisi South Central
Herbert Josiya Bimphi DPP Ntchisi North Central
Bauleni Jimmy Manna DPP Dowa East Central
Hastings Petros Chitsamba DPP Dowa South-East Central
Leckford Thotho Mwanza DPP Dowa North-East Central
Ewart Cara Gawanani DPP Dowa Ngala Central
Jean Alfazema Nachika Kalilani DPP Dowa Central Central
Abel Kayembe IND Dowa West Central
Benjamin Chikusa IND Dowa North Central
Yona Kamphamtengo MCP Salima North Central
Benjamini Benzani Mangira DPP Salima Central Central
Uladi Mussa MPP Salima South Central
Killiot Kufuna MCP Salima South-East Central
Deriah Kankhwani DPP Salima North-West Central
Rachel Zulu Mazombwe IND Mchinji North Central
Alex Chitete MCP Mchinji North-East Central
Ellen Thokozani Solomoni Chisale DPP Mchinji East Central
Theresa Gloria Mwale DPP Mchinji West Central
Jerome Gervazio Waluza IND Mchinji South Central
Francis Leobin Mussa Banda DPP Mchinji South-West Central
Patrick Zebron Chilondola MCP Dedza North Central
Sosten Gwengwe MCP Dedza Central Central
Clement Claude Mlombwa MCP Dedza South-West Central
Wodala Alekeni Menyani MCP Dedza North-West Central
Hyacinta Palingana Chikaonda DPP Dedza East Central
Phllipo Chinkhondo MCP Dedza West Central
McSteyn Swithin Mkomba MCP Dedza Central-East Central
John Zenas Ungapake Tembo MCP Dedza South Central
Everton Herbert Chimulirenji DPP Ntcheu North-East Central
Stevin Stafford Kamwendo DPP Ntcheu Bwanje North Central
Grandson Lucious Kanyumba DPP Ntcheu Bwanje South Central
Jones Vincent Chingola DPP Ntcheu Central Central
Damson Chimalira DPP Ntcheu South Central
Shadreck Assan Lipande DPP Ntcheu North Central
Chikumbutso John Hiwa DPP Ntcheu West Central
Christina Winnie Chiwoko DPP Lilongwe Mapuyu North Central
Joseph Njovuyalema MCP Lilongwe Mapuyu South Central
Bazilio Lunia Titus Malipa MCP Lilongwe North Central
Vitus Gonamtunda Dzoole Mwale MCP Lilongwe Msozi South Central
Godfrey Kamanya IND Lilongwe Msozi North Central
Maureen Katani Bondo MCP Lilongwe Kumachenga Central
Lefani Maxwell Thyolera MCP Lilongwe North-East Central
Edwin Bhagwanji DPP Lilongwe City West Central
Joyce A. Banda IND Lilongwe Mpenu Nkhoma Central
Makala Watson Ngozo MCP Lilongwe Mpenu Central
Gwengwe Alfred Willard MCP Lilongwe South East Central
Ezakiel Peter Ching'oma MCP Lilongwe East Central
Shadreck Jonasi DPP Lilongwe City Central Central
Lobin Lowe MCP Lilongwe Central Central
Ishmail Fillimon Chafukira MCP Lilongwe North-West Central
Jolly Saweta Dyson Kalelo IND Lilongwe City North Central
Jean Muonaowuza Sendeza MCP Lilongwe South West Central
Agnes Nandau Penumlungu DPP Lilongwe City South East Central
Wells John Adam DPP Lilongwe City South West Central
Peter Stanley Patisi Chalera MCP Lilongwe Msinja North Central
Lingson Kambewa W. Belekanyama MCP Lilongwe Msinja South Central
Patson Kachingwe Mthyoka MCP Lilongwe South Central
Yaumi Aufi Mpaweni UDF Balaka Central East Southern
Nasrin Pillane DPP Balaka West Southern
George Nnensa Mafunde Balaka South Southern
Ibrahim Imed Matola UDF Mangochi North Southern
Alfred Mkwanda Mwechumu UDF Mangochi North-East Southern
Hassan Ailalie Ajinga UDF Mangochi Malombe Southern
Abukakar Mbaya UDF Mangochi East Southern
Yusuf Billiati Matumula IND Mangochi South Southern
Asibu Shamil UDF Mangochi South West Southern
Mahmudu John Lali UDF Mangochi Nkungulu Southern
Stephen Okoma Atani Aipira IND Mangochi West Southern
Ralph Pachalo Jooma DPP Mangochi Monkey Bay Southern
Makumba Abdallah Shabani IND Mangochi Lutende Southern
Moffat Malisie Yakiti UDF Mangochi Masongola Southern
Atupele Muluzi UDF Machinga North-East Southern
Shaibu Kaliati UDF Machinga Central Southern
Ernest Yahaya UDF Machinga Central East Southern
Kenneth Thomas Kamu UDF Machinga East Southern
Harry Fabiano Kamba UDF Machinga South Southern
Mwalone Jangiya UDF Machinga Likwenu Southern
Rev. Wilson Ndomondo UDF Machinga South East Southern
Jenipher Deborah Chilunga DPP Zomba Nsondole Southern
Annie Lemani Singani Anambewe DPP Zomba Thondwe Southern
Lonie Phiri Chijere Chirwa DPP Zomba Chingale Southern
Grace Zinenani Maseko DPP Zomba Changalume Southern
Enock Elias Luka DPP Zomba Lisanjala Southern
Joyce Banda DPP Zomba Malosa Southern
Ted Salule Masangwi DPP Zomba Ntonya Southern
Yunus Mussa DPP Zomba Central Southern
MacRonald John Table Khwepeya IND Zomba Likangala Southern
Peter Chizalo Mangulenje IND Zomba Chisi Southern
Reen Bessie Kachere DPP Neno South Southern
Gladys Benson Tembo DPP Neno North Southern


Mutharika and Joyce Banda were respectively sworn in as president and vice-president on 22 May 2009. The MCP boycotted the event, but Muluzi was present.[25] Some in the MCP called for the party to recognize Mutharika's victory and for Tembo to resign as MCP president. Tembo refused and vowed to legally challenge the results.[26]


  1. ^ a b "Malawi president accuses donors of meddling in polls", AFP, 8 May 2009.
  2. ^ "Malawi president wins re-election". Associated Press / Google. Retrieved 2009-05-22.
  3. ^ a b c "Malawi vote gives president control", Sapa-AP (IOL), 25 May 2009.
  4. ^ "Malawi to extend voter registration", AFP (IOL), 21 November 2008.
  5. ^ a b "Constitutional crisis on Malawi candidates" Archived 2010-09-23 at the Wayback Machine, Nyasa Times (The Zimbabwean), 19 February 2009.
  6. ^ "Malawi paves way for poll", Sapa-AFP (IOL), 20 March 2009.
  7. ^ a b "Malawi's former president complains of 'intimidation'", AFP, 22 February 2009.
  8. ^ "DPP endorses Mutharika", AFP (IOL), 22 October 2008.
  9. ^ "Malawi leader seeks assurances from his party", AFP (IOL), 16 January 2009.
  10. ^ "Women are ready to stand in Malawi poll", Sapa-AFP (IOL), 17 May 2009.
  11. ^ "Malawi ex-president charged with graft", AFP, 26 February 2009.
  12. ^ "Malawi ex-leader fights poll ban". BBC News. 23 March 2009. Retrieved 12 May 2010.
  13. ^ "Malawi court dismiss ex-president's bid for office", AFP, 16 May 2009.
  14. ^ Raphael Tenthani, "John Tembo: Poised for power?", BBC News, 14 May 2009.
  15. ^ a b c Raphael Tenthani, "Malawians go to polls Tuesday in closest-ever polls" Archived 2009-05-20 at the Wayback Machine, Pana, 17 May 2009.
  16. ^ "Fire deputy ministers says Nyondo" Archived 2009-02-14 at the Wayback Machine, The Daily Times, 10 February 2009
  17. ^ "Nyondo slams Bingu over flashy hummers" Archived 2009-05-31 at the Wayback Machine, The Daily Times, 10 February 2009
  18. ^ "Bingu Blasts Nyondo" Archived 2009-04-24 at the Wayback Machine, 20 April 2009
  19. ^ "First Malawi woman seeks to run for president", AFP, 3 February 2009.
  20. ^ "Malawi: "Joy Radio" station closed by police" Archived 2009-05-28 at the Wayback Machine, Afrik.com, 20 May 2009.
  21. ^ a b "Malawi president wins re-election". BBC. 22 May 2009. Retrieved 22 May 2009.
  22. ^ Felix Mponda, "Malawi vote marks new era: analysts", AFP, 21 May 2009.
  23. ^ "Malawi's new parliament sworn in". People's Daily Online. 2009-06-02. Retrieved 2020-02-05.
  24. ^ "Malawi Election 2009 Results". African Elections Project. Archived from the original on 2013-11-04. Retrieved 2011-03-04.
  25. ^ "Mutharika starts second term as Malawi president", AFP, 22 May 2009.
  26. ^ "Malawi opposition leader refuses to step down" Archived 2009-05-27 at the Wayback Machine, Radio Netherlands, 24 May 2009.