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.

Portrait Reign Royal House Prime Minister
Reign start Reign end Time in office
1 Queen Elizabeth II
Queen Elizabeth II in March 2015.jpg 6 July 1964 6 July 1966 2 years Windsor Banda


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
Portrait Tenure Monarch Prime Minister
Took office Left office Time in office
1 Sir Glyn Jones
No image.png 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 first President was elected by the National Assembly, but later presidents were elected in direct popular elections for a five-year term. In the event of a vacancy, the Vice-President becomes President.

  Denotes Vice-President acting as President
Portrait Tenure Elected Political affiliation
(at time of appointment)
Took office Left office Time in office
1 Hastings Banda
(1899–1997) [1]
Dr HK Banda, first president of Malawi.jpg 6 July 1966 24 May 1994 27 years,

319 days

Malawi Congress Party
2 Bakili Muluzi
Muluzi.png 24 May 1994 24 May 2004 10 years,

3 days

United Democratic Front
3 Bingu wa Mutharika
Mutharika at Met.jpg 24 May 2004 5 April 2012
(died in office.)
7 years,

316 days

2004 United Democratic Front
2009 Democratic Progressive Party [2]
4 Joyce Banda
Joyce Banda August 2012.jpg 7 April 2012 31 May 2014 2 years,

54 days

People's Party
5 Peter Mutharika
Peter Mutharika 2011 (cropped).jpg 31 May 2014 Incumbent 4 years,

103 days

2014 Democratic Progressive Party


Living former heads of state[edit]

There are three living former Malawian Heads of State:

Image Name Term/Reign Office Date of birth
Elizabeth II greets NASA GSFC employees, May 8, 2007 edit.jpg Elizabeth II 1964–1966 Queen of Malawi (1926-04-21) 21 April 1926 (age 93)
Muluzi.png Bakili Muluzi 1994–2004 President of Malawi (1941-03-17) 17 March 1941 (age 78)
Joyce Banda August 2012.jpg Joyce Banda 2012–2014 President of Malawi (1951-04-12) 12 April 1951 (age 68)


  1. ^ Served as President for Life from 6 July 1971 to February 1994
  2. ^ Founded in 2005

External links[edit]