n Journal of African Elections - A critical stock take of Malawi's 19 May 2009 elections : processes, outcomes and challenges

Volume 9, Issue 1
  • ISSN : 1609-4700



This article reviews critically Malawi's fourth consecutive general elections since the country's momentous return to multi-party democracy in May 1994. The results of the May 2009 elections marked a complete departure from the familiar patterns of voting along tribal, ethnic or regional lines. The main argument of this article is that the historical uniqueness of the 2009 elections has failed to act as a catalyst for the fundamental and sustainable democratic transformation that was widely prophesied by observers and commentators in the immediate aftermath of the polls. This illustrates, inter alia, that Malawi is still a defective democracy, whose politics are neither democratic nor undemocratic. The major lesson is that democracy cannot flourish if a society does not have any consciousness of its own contradictions and does not set out social practices to provide rules for society to manage its interests and objectives with equity, justice and fairness.

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