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President of the
Republic of Malawi
Mtsogoleri wa Dziko la Malawi (in Chichewa)
Presidential Standard
Lazarus Chakwera
since 28 June 2020
Executive branch of the Malawian Government
StyleHis Excellency (formal)
Member ofCabinet
ResidenceState House, Lilongwe, Malawi
SeatKamuzu Palace, Capital Hill, Lilongwe
Term lengthFive years, renewable once consecutively
Constituting instrumentConstitution of Malawi
Formation6 July 1966
First holderHastings Banda
DeputyVice President of Malawi
Salary77,509,760 Malawian kwacha/US$ 74,300 annually

The president of the Republic of Malawi (Chichewa: Mtsogoleri wa Dziko la Malawi) is the head of state and head of government of Malawi. The president leads the executive branch of the Government of Malawi and is the commander-in-chief of the Malawian Defence Force.

Executive branch

Under the 1995 constitution, the president, who is both head of state and head of government, is chosen through universal direct suffrage every five years. Malawi has a vice president who is elected with the president. The president has the option of appointing a second vice president, who must be from a different party. It also includes a presidentially appointed cabinet. The members of the cabinet of Malawi can be drawn from either within or outside of the legislature. The President is also concurrently the Minister of Defense.

The current president is Lazarus Chakwera sworn in as president of Malawi on 28 June 2020.

Origins of the presidency

On 6 July 1964, Nyasaland became independent from British rule and renamed itself Malawi, with Elizabeth II as Queen of Malawi. Under a new constitution in 1966, Malawi became a republic with prime minister Hastings Banda becoming its first president. Under the country's 1966, 1994 and 1995 constitutions, the president is executive head of state and government, and serves a five-year term. The first president, Banda, was elected by the National Assembly, and was named president for life in 1971. Subsequent presidents have been popularly elected.

After the restoration of multiparty democracy in 1993, the presidency was hedged about with a number of checks and balances to prevent its total dominance over the political system.

Election to the presidency

The president is elected by a majority vote (50% + 1) of the electorate through direct, universal and equal suffrage. All Malawian citizens that have attained the age of 18 are eligible to vote in all elections. Every presidential candidate shall declare who shall be the vice-president if elected at the time of the candidate's nomination. The vice-president shall be elected concurrently with the president, with both names on the ballot.

Term limits

As of 2021, the Constitution of Malawi limits a president to two consecutive five-year terms. There was an attempt to modify the term limits in 2003 for Bakili Muluzi, but it did not materialize.[1]

List of presidents

Main article: List of heads of state of Malawi

Latest election

Main article: 2020 Malawian presidential election

See also


  1. ^ Cook, Candace; Siegle, Joseph. "Circumvention of Term Limits Weakens Governance in Africa". Africa Center for Strategic Studies.