List of heads of state of Malawi

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This is a list of the heads of state of Malawi from the independence of Malawi in 1963 to the present day.

From 1964 to 1966 the head of state under the Malawi Independence Act 1964 was the Queen of Malawi, Elizabeth II, who was also the monarch of the United Kingdom and the other Commonwealth realms. The Queen was represented in Malawi by a Governor-General. Malawi became a republic under the Constitution of 1966 and the monarch and Governor-General were replaced by an executive President.

Monarch (1964–1966)[edit]

The succession to the throne was the same as the succession to the British throne.

Queen Reign Royal House Prime Minister
Portrait Name
Start End Duration
1 Queen Elizabeth II - 1953-Dress.JPG Elizabeth II
6 July 1964 6 July 1966 2 years Windsor Banda


Standard of the Governor-General of Malawi

The Governor-General was the representative of the monarch in Malawi and exercised most of the powers of the monarch. The Governor-General was appointed for an indefinite term, serving at the pleasure of the monarch. After the passage of the Statute of Westminster 1931, the Governor-General was appointed solely on the advice of the Cabinet of Malawi without the involvement of the British government. In the event of a vacancy the Chief Justice served as Officer Administering the Government.

  Denotes Chief Justice acting as Officer Administering the Government
Governor-General Term of Office Monarch Prime Minister
Portrait Name
Took Office Left Office Duration
1 No image.png Sir Glyn Jones
6 July 1964 6 July 1966 2 years Elizabeth II Banda

President of Malawi[edit]

Under the country's 1966, 1994 and 1995 constitutions, the President is executive head of state. The President is elected by the National Assembly for a five-year term. In the event of a vacancy, the Vice President serves as Acting President. The President leads the Malawian government's executive branch and is the commander-in-chief of the Malawian Defence Force.

  Denotes Vice President acting as President
President Term of office Political party
(at time of election)
Portrait Name
Took Office Left Office Duration
1 Dr HK Banda, first president of Malawi.jpg Hastings Banda
6 July 1966 21 May 1994 27 years, 319 days Malawi Congress Party
2 No image.png Bakili Muluzi
21 May 1994 24 May 2004 10 years, 3 days United Democratic Front
3 Mutharika at Met.jpg Bingu wa Mutharika
24 May 2004 5 April 2012
(Died in Office)
7 years, 317 days United Democratic Front
(until 2005)
(3) Democratic Progressive Party
4 Joyce Banda August 2012.jpg Joyce Banda
7 April 2012 31 May 2014 2 years, 54 days People's Party
5 Peter Mutharika 2011 (cropped).jpg Peter Mutharika
31 May 2014 Incumbent (mandate expires 31 May 2019) 2 years, 92 days
(as of 31 August 2016)
Democratic Progressive Party

Living former heads of state[edit]

Name Term/Reign Office Date of birth
Elizabeth II 1964–1966 Queen of Malawi (1926-04-21) April 21, 1926 (age 90)
Bakili Muluzi 1994–2004 President of Malawi (1943-03-17) March 17, 1943 (age 73)
Joyce Banda 2012–2014 President of Malawi (1950-04-12) April 12, 1950 (age 66)

External links[edit]

  1. ^ Served as President for Life from 6 July 1971 to November 1993