Alliance for Democracy (Malawi)

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Alliance for Democracy (Malawi)
Founder Chakufwa Chihana
President Godfrey Shawa
Founded 1993
Colors Blue
National Assembly
1 / 193
Election symbol
Victory sign hand
Politics of Malawi
Political parties

The Alliance for Democracy is a political party in Malawi that marked its history as laying the foundation for multi party political rule in Malawi. It began as an underground political movement during the Kamuzu Banda era and later evolved to a political party during the multi-party era under the leadership of trade union activist, Chakufwa Chihana. Currently, AFORD is a stronghold in the northern region. The current president is Godfrey Shawa.[1]


AFORD began as an underground political movement under Banda's dictatorship under the leadership of trade unionist and political activistChakufwa Chihana.[2] He led an underground political movement that aimed at democratic multi-party rule.He was the first person to openly challenge the system. Therefore he is known as the 'father of Malawian democracy' for his role in ushering in multi-party rule in Malawi.[3] He was arrested in 1992 when he returned to Malawi and his arrest heightened both domestic and international pressure.His arrest lead to increasing calls for multi-party rule both domestically and internationally.[4] Chihana's freedom was supported by Amnesty International as well as the Robert F. Kennedy Association. Soon after the churches issued a pastoral letter in support of democracy and multi-party rule. Banda agreed to a referendum on multi-party rule and Malawians decided to vote for a multi-party system.When political parties became legal in 1993, Chihana officially registered AFORD as an opposition party.[5] AFORD had now moved from an underground movement to a registered political party. AFORD ran for the country's first elections in 1994 and came in third. Its founder, Chihana was appointed as vice-president.[6]

Internal Politics[edit]

AFORD as a political party began to decline due to internal politics within the party.[7] AFORD's influence slowly became increasingly isolated to the Northern Region.


At the last general elections, 20 May 2004, the party won 6 out of 194 seats.


Notable AFORD Members[edit]