Malawian general election, 2014

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Malawian general election, 2014
2009 ←
20 May 2014 (2014-05-20) → 2019

7,537,548 registered voters[1]
Simple-majority votes needed to win
Turnout 5,288,258 (70.78%)[2]
  Peter Mutharika.jpg No image.svg
Nominee Peter Mutharika Lazarus Chakwera
Running mate Saulos Chilima Richard Msowoya
Popular vote 1,904,399 1,455,880
Percentage 36.4% 27.8%

  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 20.2% 13.7%

President before election

Joyce Banda


Peter Mutharika

Coat of arms of Malawi.svg
This article is part of a series on the
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General elections were held in Malawi on 20 May 2014. They were Malawi's first tripartite elections, making it the first time the people of Malawi voted for their local governments, members of parliament and president in a single election.[3] 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%.[4] Malawi has maintained a polity score of 6 since 2005, designating it as a democracy.[5] 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.[6]

Bingu wa Mutharika died of a heart attack on 5 April 2012, and Joyce Banda took the presidency according to the constitution, despite protests about not belonging to the ruling party.

The People's Party entered the election with a sitting president, but little in the way of a grass-roots machine.[6]



Twelve candidates were allowed to contest in the election by the Malawi Electoral Commission:[7]

Portrait Nominee Party Running mate
Joyce Banda Department for International Development photo crop.jpg Joyce Banda People's Party (PP) Sosten Gwengwe
Peter Mutharika.jpg 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[edit]

The Malawi Electoral Commission cautions that opinion pollsters in Malawi often have questionable credentials and publish biased reports.[8] Some opinion polls have been criticized for lacking credibility and using non-scientific methods.[9]

Poll source Date Sample size Joyce Banda
Peter Mutharika
Lazarus Chakwera
Atupele Muluzi
Research Tech Consultants[9] April 2014 3,883 42% 10% 23% 10%
Nyasa Times Media[10] April 2014 79,030 30% 19% 29% 22%
Afrobarometer[11] April 2014 2,400 14% 27% 21% 14%
Election Results 30 May 2014 20.2% 36.4% 27.8% 13.7%

Polling day[edit]

Amid a breakdown in electronic systems for relaying results back to IEC[clarification needed] 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 2009 election winner, 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.[12]

Court action ensued,[13] 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.[14] 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.[15] Banda quickly said that she accepted the outcome, although she continued to describe the vote as "fraudulent".[16]

Mutharika was sworn in as President on the morning of 31 May 2014.[17] Banda congratulated Mutharika and called for national unity, urging the people to support the new President and wishing him success.[18] 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".[19]


Candidate Party Votes %
Peter Mutharika Democratic Progressive Party 1,904,399 36.4
Lazarus Chakwera Malawi Congress Party 1,455,880 27.8
Joyce Banda People's Party 1,056,236 20.2
Atupele Muluzi United Democratic Front 717,224 13.7
Kamuzu Chibambo People's Transformation Party 19,360 0.4
Mark Katsonga Progressive Party Movement 15,830 0.3
John Chisi Umodzi Party 12,048 0.2
George Nnesa Tisinthe Alliance 11,042 0.2
James Nyondo National Salvation Front 10,623 0.2
Hellen Singh United Independent Party 9,668 0.2
Friday Jumbe Labour Party 8,819 0.2
Davis Katsonga Chipani cha Pfuko 7,454 0.1
Invalid/blank votes 56,695
Total 5,285,278 100
Registered voters/turnout 7,470,806 70.7
Source: MEC

National Assembly[edit]

Party Votes % Seats +/–
Democratic Progressive Party 1,133,402 21.98 51 –63
People's Party 935,994 18.15 26 New
Malawi Congress Party 895,659 17.37 48 +22
United Democratic Front 496,765 9.63 14 –3
Progressive Party Movement 33,817 0.66 0 0
Alliance for Democracy 31,907 0.62 1 0
United Independent Party 24,132 0.47 0 New
National Salvation Front 19,616 0.38 0 New
Nthanda Congress Party 16,497 0.32 0 New
New Rainbow Coalition 14,091 0.27 0 0
Chipani cha Pfuko 10,545 0.20 1 New
New Labour Party 4,473 0.09 0 New
Umodzi Party 3,145 0.06 0 New
Malawi Forum for Unity and Development 2,814 0.05 0 –1
People's Transformation Party 2,746 0.05 0 0
Maravi People's Party 733 0.01 0 –1
People's Democratic Movement 471 0.01 0 New
Independents 1,530,485 29.68 52 +20
Invalid/blank votes 74,889
Total 5,232,181 100 193
Registered voters/turnout 7,448,247 70.25
Source: MEC, MEC

Local government[edit]

Party Votes % Seats
Democratic Progressive Party 165
Malawi Congress Party 131
People's Party 65
United Democratic Front 57
Chipani cha Pfuko 2
Alliance for Democracy 1
National Salvation Front 1
Independents 35
By-elections pending 5
Invalid/blank votes 121,170
Total 5,153, 993 100 457
Registered voters/turnout 68.99
Source: Nyasa Times, Shanghai Daily


  1. ^ "MEC NATIONAL VOTER REGISTRATION STATISTICS - 2014" (PDF). Malawi Electoral Commission. Retrieved 2014-04-29. 
  2. ^ Chilunga, Zawadi (30 May 2014). "Mutharika declared winner in Malawi 2014 presidential election". Nyasa Times. Retrieved 2014-05-30. 
  3. ^ "Malawi Election Commission News", 2009
  4. ^ "World Economic Outlook Database". International Monetary Fund. April 2014. 
  5. ^ "Authority Trends, 1964-2010: Malawi". Polity IV Project. Retrieved 5 May 2014. 
  6. ^ a b Madonna attacks Malawi's president after attempt to nullify elections The Guardian
  7. ^ Fazilla, Tembo (2014-02-21). "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.". Retrieved 2014-04-29. 
  8. ^ "Malawi media cautioned on opinion polls ahead of 2014 tripartite elections". Nyasa Times. 2 October 2013. 
  9. ^ a b Muheya, Green (29 April 2014). "Malawi opposition in denial mode over opinion polls". Nyasa Times. 
  10. ^ Kufa, Charles (15 April 2014). "JB in front, survey tips tight race for LoP post". Nyasa Times. 
  11. ^ "Malawi’s 2014 Elections: Amid Concerns About Fairness, Outcome is Too Close to Call" (PDF). Afrobarometer. April 2014. Retrieved 2014-05-30. 
  12. ^ Malawi to recount votes after fraud claims News24
  13. ^ Malawi court demands election results before recount
  14. ^ Zawadi Chilunga, "Court rules MEC should declare winner of Malawi presidential polls", Nyasa Times, 30 May 2014.
  15. ^ Zawadi Chilunga, "Mutharika declared winner in Malawi 2014 presidential election", Nyasa Times, 30 May 2014.
  16. ^ Wanga Gwede, "JB accepts to hand over power to APM: Malawi presidency", Nyasa Times, 30 May 2014.
  17. ^ Zawadi Chilunga, "'So help me God': Mutharika sworn in as Malawi President, Chilima VP", Nyasa Times, 31 May 2014.
  18. ^ Thom Chiumia, "Defeated JB congratulates Mutharika: 'Malawi must move forward'", Nyasa Times, 31 May 2014.
  19. ^ Zawadi Chilunga, "Mutharika regrets JB's snub in power handover: Muluzi cheered", Nyasa Times, 2 June 2014.