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World > Africa > Malawi > Government and Political Conditions (Notes)

Malawi - Government and Political Conditions (Notes)


GOVERNMENT AND POLITICAL CONDITIONS
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, a Supreme Court of Appeal, and a constitutional court. Local government is carried out in 28 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.

The third multiparty presidential and parliamentary elections, originally planned for May 18, 2004 were postponed by two days following a High Court appeal by the main opposition Mgwirizano (Unity) coalition. The run-up to the poll was overshadowed by opposition claims of irregularities in the voters' roll. European Union and Commonwealth observers said although voting passed peacefully, they were concerned about 'serious inadequacies' in the poll.

Principal Government Officials
President--Dr. Bingu wa Mutharika
Vice President--Dr. Cassim Chilumpha

Minister of Agriculture and Food Security--Bingu wa Mutharika
Minister of Economic Planning and Development--Ted Kalebe
Minister of Finance--Godall Gondwe
Minister of Foreign Affairs--Joyce Banda
Minister of Health--Marjorie Ngaunje
Minister of Information--Patricia Kaliati
Minister of Justice and Constitutional Affairs--Henry Phoya
Minister of Lands, Housing and Surveys--Ernest Malenga
Minister of Local Government--George Chaponda
Minister of Sports, Youth and Culture--Khumbo Kachali
Minister of State in the President?s Office--David Katsonga
Minister of Trade and Industry--Ken Lipenga
Minister of Transport and Public Works--Henry Mussa
Minister of Tourism--Calista Chimombo

Malawi maintains an embassy in the United States at 1156 15th Street, NW, Suite 320, Washington, DC 20005 (tel. 202-721-0270; fax 202-721-0288). Malawi's Permanent Mission to the United Nations is located at 866 UN Plaza, Suite 486, New York, NY 10017 (tel.: 212-317-8738/8718; fax: 212-317-8729; e-mail: [email protected] or [email protected]). Malawi also maintains an Honorary Consulate in Los Angeles at 44970 Via Renaissance, Temecula, California 92590 (office number, 951-676-2476; fax number, 951-676-1568; and e-mail, [email protected]).


Facts at a Glance: Geography - People - Government - Economy - Communications - Transportation - Military - Climate - Current Time - Ranking Positions
Notes and Commentary: People - Economy - Government and Political Conditions - Historical Highlights - Foreign Relations - Relations with U.S.



Facts at a Glance
Geography
People
Government
Economy
Communications
Transportation
Military
Climate
Current Time
Ranking Positions


Notes and Commentary
People
Economy
Government and Political Conditions
Historical Highlights
Foreign Relations
Relations with U.S.





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