1993-A Watershed Year in Malawi’s Democratic Transformation

In 1992, Malawians seem to have rediscovered their age-old intolerance to undemocratic system thus irreversibly propelling the nation back into the transition process.  However, constitutionally, legally and politically, the pivotal year in Malawi’s transition from single-party to a multiparty system was 1993.  On June 14th of that year a referendum was held at which Malawians were to indicate the system of rule of their choice: one-party or multipartyism.  The outcome was in favour of the latter with a vote of 63 percent in favour.

Multiparty Presidential and Parliamentary General Elections, the first of their type in over three decades, were held in May 1994.  Pitted against Dr. Banda (representing the MCP) were two key candidates: Chakufwa Chihana (AFORD), and Bakili Muluzi (UDF).  Victory went to Bakili Muluzi who was accordingly sworn in as State President.

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