2014 Malawian general election

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Presidential election
Nominee Peter Mutharika Lazarus Chakwera
Running mate Saulos Chilima Richard Msowoya
Popular vote 1,904,399 1,455,880
Percentage 36.42% 27.80%

Joyce Banda Department for International Development photo crop.jpg
Nominee Joyce Banda Atupele Muluzi
Party PP UDF
Running mate Sosten Gwengwe Godfrey Chapola
Popular vote 1,056,236 717,224
Percentage 20.20% 13.72%

President before election

Joyce Banda


Peter Mutharika

Parliamentary election

All 193 seats in the National Assembly
Party Leader % Seats +/–
DPP Peter Mutharika 21.98 51 −63
PP Joyce Banda 18.15 26 New
MCP Lazarus Chakwera 17.37 48 +22
UDF Atupele Muluzi 9.63 14 −3
AFORD Godfrey Shawa 0.62 1 0
CCP Davis Katsonga 0.20 1 New
Independents 29.68 52 +20
This lists parties that won seats. See the complete results below.

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.[1] 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%.[2] Malawi has maintained a polity score of 6 since 2005, designating it as a democracy.[3] 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.[4]

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.[5]

The People's Party entered the election with a sitting president, but little in the way of a grass-roots machine.[4]

Presidential candidates

Twelve candidates were allowed to contest in the election by the Malawi Electoral Commission:[6]

Portrait Nominee Party Running mate
Joyce Banda People's Party (PP) Sosten Gwengwe
Peter Mutharika Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) Saulos Chilima
Lazarus Chakwera Malawi Congress Party (MCP) Richard Msowoya
Atupele Muluzi United Democratic Front (UDF) Godfrey Chapola
James Nyondo National Salvation Front (NASAF) Ethel Changa
Mark Katsonga Progressive Party Movement (PPM) Jacob Mbunge
Davis Katsonga Chipani cha Pfuko (CCP) Godfrey Matenganya
George Nnesa Tisinthe Alliance (TA) Sylvester Chabuka
Hellen Singh United Independent Party (UIP) Chrissy Tembo
Kamuzu Chibambo People's Transformation Party (Petra) White Scander
Friday Jumbe Labour Party (LP) Joseph Kubwalo
John Chisi Umodzi Party (UP) William Tayub

Opinion polls

The Malawi Electoral Commission cautions that opinion pollsters in Malawi often have questionable credentials and publish biased reports.[7] Some opinion polls have been criticised for lacking credibility and using non-scientific methods.[8]

Poll source Date Sample size Joyce Banda
Peter Mutharika
Lazarus Chakwera
Atupele Muluzi
Research Tech Consultants[8] April 2014 3,883 42% 10% 23% 10%
Nyasa Times Media[9] April 2014 79,030 30% 19% 29% 22%
Afrobarometer[10] April 2014 2,400 14% 27% 21% 14%
Election Results 30 May 2014 20.2% 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.[11]

Court action ensued,[12] 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.[13] 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.[14] Banda quickly said that she accepted the outcome, although she continued to describe the vote as "fraudulent".[15]

Mutharika was sworn in as president on the morning of 31 May 2014.[16] Banda congratulated Mutharika and called for national unity, urging the people to support the new president and wishing him success.[17] 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".[18]


CandidateRunning matePartyVotes%
Peter MutharikaSaulos ChilimaDemocratic Progressive Party1,904,39936.42
Lazarus ChakweraRichard MsowoyaMalawi Congress Party1,455,88027.84
Joyce BandaSosten GwengwePeople's Party1,056,23620.20
Atupele MuluziGodfrey ChapolaUnited Democratic Front717,22413.72
Kamuzu ChibamboWhite ScanderPeople's Transformation Party19,3600.37
Mark KatsongaJacob MbungeProgressive Party Movement15,8300.30
John ChisiWilliam TayubUmodzi Party12,0480.23
George NnesaSylvester ChabukaTisinthe Alliance11,0420.21
James NyondoEthel ChangaNational Salvation Front10,6230.20
Hellen SinghChrissy TemboUnited Independent Party9,6680.18
Friday JumbeJoseph KubwaloLabour Party8,8190.17
Davis KatsongaGodfrey MatenganyaChipani cha Pfuko7,4540.14
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 Party1,133,40221.9851−63
People's Party935,99418.1526New
Malawi Congress Party895,65917.3748+22
United Democratic Front496,7659.6314−3
Progressive Party Movement33,8170.6600
Alliance for Democracy31,9070.6210
United Independent Party24,1320.470New
National Salvation Front19,6160.380New
Nthanda Congress Party16,4970.320New
New Rainbow Coalition14,0910.2700
Chipani cha Pfuko10,5450.201New
New Labour Party4,4730.090New
Umodzi Party3,1450.060New
Malawi Forum for Unity and Development2,8140.050−1
People's Transformation Party2,7460.0500
Maravi People's Party7330.010−1
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 Party165
Malawi Congress Party131
People's Party65
United Democratic Front57
Chipani cha Pfuko2
Alliance for Democracy1
National Salvation Front1
Valid votes5,032,82397.65
Invalid/blank votes121,1702.35
Total votes5,153,993100.00
Source: Nyasa Times, Shanghai Daily


  1. ^ "Malawi Election Commission News Archived 1 February 2014 at the Wayback Machine", 2009
  2. ^ "World Economic Outlook Database". International Monetary Fund. April 2014.
  3. ^ "Authority Trends, 1964–2010: Malawi". Polity IV Project. Retrieved 5 May 2014.
  4. ^ a b Madonna attacks Malawi's president after attempt to nullify elections The Guardian
  5. ^ Kim Yi Dionne and Boniface Dulani. (1 January 2013) Constitutional provisions and executive succession: Malawi's 2012 transition in comparative perspective. African Affairs. Retrieved 14 March 2019.
  6. ^ Fazilla, Tembo (21 February 2014). "Malawi electoral body releases names of May 20, 2014 Presidential candidates, however, a court later approved a twelfth candidate, Professor John Chisi, who at the time was technically a civil servant and therefore not allowed to run for president. The following are the Presidential candidates". thezambezian.com. Archived from the original on 3 May 2014. Retrieved 29 April 2014.
  7. ^ "Malawi media cautioned on opinion polls ahead of 2014 tripartite elections". Nyasa Times. 2 October 2013. Archived from the original on 12 September 2014.
  8. ^ a b Muheya, Green (29 April 2014). "Malawi opposition in denial mode over opinion polls". Nyasa Times. Archived from the original on 5 May 2014.
  9. ^ Kufa, Charles (15 April 2014). "JB in front, survey tips tight race for LoP post". Nyasa Times. Archived from the original on 29 April 2014.
  10. ^ "Malawi's 2014 Elections: Amid Concerns About Fairness, Outcome is Too Close to Call" (PDF). Afrobarometer. April 2014. Archived from the original (PDF) on 15 May 2014. Retrieved 30 May 2014.
  11. ^ Malawi to recount votes after fraud claims News24
  12. ^ Malawi court demands election results before recount
  13. ^ Zawadi Chilunga, "Court rules MEC should declare winner of Malawi presidential polls" Archived 31 May 2014 at the Wayback Machine, Nyasa Times, 30 May 2014.
  14. ^ Zawadi Chilunga, "Mutharika declared winner in Malawi 2014 presidential election" Archived 31 May 2014 at the Wayback Machine, Nyasa Times, 30 May 2014.
  15. ^ Wanga Gwede, "JB accepts to hand over power to APM: Malawi presidency" Archived 31 May 2014 at the Wayback Machine, Nyasa Times, 30 May 2014.
  16. ^ Zawadi Chilunga, "'So help me God': Mutharika sworn in as Malawi President, Chilima VP" Archived 1 June 2014 at the Wayback Machine, Nyasa Times, 31 May 2014.
  17. ^ Thom Chiumia, "Defeated JB congratulates Mutharika: 'Malawi must move forward'" Archived 1 June 2014 at the Wayback Machine, Nyasa Times, 31 May 2014.
  18. ^ Zawadi Chilunga, "Mutharika regrets JB's snub in power handover: Muluzi cheered" Archived 6 June 2014 at the Wayback Machine, Nyasa Times, 2 June 2014.