Browse the listing below to find government information for Malawi, including flags, leaders,
and constitution information. Factrover also has complete information on Malawi at its
Malawi Country Page.
Type: multi-party democracy.
Independence: July 6, 1964.
Constitution: May 18, 1995.
Branches: Executive--President (the president is both chief of state and head of government), first and second vice presidents, Cabinet.
Legislative--unicameral National Assembly. (Although in practice the legislative branch does not include a Senate, the Malawi constitution provides for the establishment of a Senate.) Judicial--High Court, Supreme Court of Appeal, Subordinate Magistrate Courts.
Administrative subdivisions: 27 districts.
Political parties: United Democratic Front (UDF, ruling party), Malawi Congress Party (MCP), Alliance for Democracy (AFORD) and the National Democratic Alliance (NDA). MCP, AFORD and NDA are the three opposition parties in Parliament. Other political parties include: Congress for the Second Republic (CSR), Malawi Democratic Party MDP), People Democratic Party (PDP), Social Democratic Party (SDP), other smaller parties.
Suffrage: Universal at 18 years of age.
Central government budget (1999-2000 est.): Revenues and grants--$490 million (MK 21.5 billion); expenditures--$523 million (MK 22.9 billion).
Defense (1999-2000 est.): 3.8% of recurrent budget and 1.1% of development budget.
Government of Malawi
The Government of Malawi has been a multi-party democracy since 1994. Under the 1995 constitution, the president, who is both chief of state and head of the government, is chosen through universal direct suffrage every 5 years. Malawi has a vice president who is elected with the president. The president has the option of appointing a second vice president, who must be from a different party. The members of the presidentially appointed cabinet can be drawn from either within or outside of the legislature. Malawi's National Assembly has 193 seats, all directly elected to serve 5-year terms. The constitution also provides for a second house, a Senate of 80 seats, but to date no action has been taken to create the Senate. The Senate is intended to provide representation for traditional leaders and the different geographical districts, as well as various special interest groups, such as women, youth, and the disabled.
The constitution provides for an independent judiciary. Malawi's judicial system, based on the English model, is made up of magisterial lower courts, a High Court, and a Supreme Court of Appeal. Local government is carried out in 27 districts within three regions administered by regional administrators and district commissioners who are appointed by the central government. Local elections, the first in the multi-party era, took place in on November 21, 2000. The UDF party won 70% of the seats in this election. Malawi's third democratic presidential elections are scheduled to take place on May 16, 2004.