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National Assembly

Compare data for parliamentary chambers in the Last elections module

A historical Archive of past election results for this chamber can be found on a separate page

Parliament name National Assembly
Structure of parliament Unicameral
Dates of election / renewal (from/to) 19 May 2009
Purpose of elections Elections were held for all seats in the National Assembly on the normal expiry of the members' term of office.
On 20 March 2009, President Ngwazi Bingu wa Mutharika dissolved the National Assembly in view of elections set for 19 May.

In the previous elections held in May 2004 in parallel with presidential elections, the Malawi Congress Party (MCP), which had led Malawi to independence from Britain in 1964, won 56 of the 193 seats at stake. The United Democratic Front (UDF) of the then President Bakili Muluzi came in second with 49 seats. The opposition Mgwirizano Coalition took 25. The remainder went to small parties and 39 independent candidates. In the presidential elections, Mr. Bingu wa Mutharika (UDF) was elected President, with his running mate, Mr. Cassim Chilumpha, as Vice-President.

The country has experienced political turmoil since the 2004 elections. In February 2005, President Mutharika resigned from the UDF, accusing the party and former president Muluzi of opposing his anti-corruption campaign. He subsequently formed the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP). The UDF launched an unsuccessful attempt to have Mr. Mutharika impeached, arguing that he had used public funds to promote his new party. In February 2006, President Mutharika sacked Vice-President Chilumpha. Two months later, the latter was arrested on treason charges. In July 2006, former president Muluzi was arrested for fraud and corruption charges but was released on bail.

In all, 1,151 candidates were vying for seats in the National Assembly in the 2009 elections. The DPP, which formed an electoral alliance with the People's Progressive Movement (PPM), supported Mr. Mutharika as its presidential candidate. The MCP and the UDF formed a coalition and backed Mr. John Tembo (MCP), whom had been defeated in the 2004 presidential race. Former president Muluzi (UDF), who had served the maximum two terms, unsuccessfully petitioned the Constitutional Court to lift the term limit, arguing that the ban breached his political rights. Ms. Loveness Gondwe of the National Rainbow Coalition (NARC), formed in March 2008, was the country's first woman presidential candidate.

Agriculture, food security, employment and corruption figured prominently in the election campaign. Nearly 65 per cent of the country's 13.1 million people live on less than a dollar per day. Eighty-five per cent of Malawians rely on agriculture for their livelihood, and agriculture accounts for 70 per cent of the country's trade revenue.

The DPP promised to continue to provide subsidized fertilizer to poor farmers, while the MCP-UDF coalition promised to extend the sale of subsidized fertilizer to all farmers. The DPP pledged to introduce more foreign investment to develop the country, after an Australian company started uranium mining in northern Malawi in April 2009. The MCP-UDF coalition promised to prioritize local investment projects in agriculture, education and health in order to eradicate poverty.

The MCP-UDF accused the DPP of using an on-going anti-corruption campaign to persecute its political opponents. The UDF further accused the DPP of trying to revert to a one-party system. The NARC promised to improve the conditions of workers, youth and women. It also vowed to review pension funds and double teachers' salaries.

Prior to the 2009 elections, the electoral commission admitted that there had been irregularities in the voters' list and pledged to correct them before polling day.

Turnout was reportedly high among the 5.9 million registered voters. Some voters were turned away from polling centres because their names were not on the voters' list. The Electoral Commission rectified the list and urged citizens who had encountered such problems to go back to the polling station.

The DPP came in first with 113 seats. The MCP came in second with 27 seats, while the UDF took 17. Three small parties won one seat each while 33 seats went to independent candidates. 40 women were elected.

In the presidential elections, Mr. Mutharika was re-elected with 50.7 per cent of the votes. On 22 May, he was sworn in for a second term. His deputy, Ms. Joyce Banda, became the first female Vice-President in Malawi's history.

On 1 June, the newly elected National Assembly held its first session. 29 independents sat with the government side in parliament while three sat with the opposition. On 22 June, the National Assembly elected Mr. Henry Chimunthu Banda (DPP) as its Speaker.
Voter turnout
Round no 119 May 2009
Number of registered electors
Blank or invalid ballot papers
Valid votes
0 (0%)

Distribution of votes
Round no 1
Political Group Candidates Votes %
Democratic Progressive Party (DPP)
Malawi Congress Party (MCP)
United Democratic Front (UDF)
Maravi People's Party (MPP)
Alliance for Democracy (AFORD)
Malawi Forum for Unity and Development (MAFUNDE)
Distribution of seats
Round no 1
Political Group Total Number of women
Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) 113 31
Independents 33 6
Malawi Congress Party (MCP) 27 3
United Democratic Front (UDF) 17 1
Maravi People's Party (MPP) 1 0
Alliance for Democracy (AFORD) 1 0
Malawi Forum for Unity and Development (MAFUNDE) 1 0
Distribution of seats according to sex
Percent of women
Distribution of seats according to age
Distribution of seats according to profession
- National Assembly (21.07.2009, 12.01.2012)
- Electoral Commission (15.07.2009)
- http://www.mec.org.mw/

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