Established in 1891, the British protectorate of Nyasaland became the independent nation of Malawi in 1964. After thirty years of one-party rule under President Hastings Kamuzu Banda, the country held multiparty elections in 1994, under a provisional constitution, which came into full effect the following year.
The first elections under the multiparty system took place on May 17, 1994 electing Dr. Bakili Muluzi as Malawi's first democratically elected president. In 2004, Malawi held its third multi-party elections and elected President Bingu wa Mutharika as the Head of State.
Following the death of President Bingu wa Mutharika on April 5, 2012, Her Excellency Madam President Joyce Hilda Mtila Banda was sworn in as the Head of State on April 7, 2012.
On May 20, 2014, the people of Malawi elected His Excellency Professor Arthur Peter Mutharika as President of the Republic of Malawi for a term of five years. His Excellency Professor Mutharika was sworn into office by the Chief Justice of Malawi on Saturday, May 31, 2014 with Mr Saulos Chilima as his Vice–President.
His Excellency Professor Mutharika formally took over the Office of President of the Republic of Malawi on Monday, June 2, 2014.
The election was declared free, fair and credible by the Malawi Electoral Commission and International observers from the African Union, Southern Africa Development Community (SADC) and European Union.
His Excellency Professor Mutharika is the President of the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP).
Government Structure: Central Government comprises of the Executive (President, Cabinet and Civil Servants); Judiciary (Supreme Court, the Court of Appeal, the High Court and the Magistrates Court) and Legislature (Parliament and members of Parliament). Local Government is headed by the Minister of Local Government. It is then decentralized into Urban authorities and municipalities (Mayor, Chief Executive, Municipal and Ward Council); District Council (Chairperson and Local Council) and Traditional Authority Council (Group Village headman and Village Head).
Regional and International Membership: The country is a member of the United Nations, African Union, The Commonwealth, the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA) and the Southern Africa Development Community (SADC).