n Malawi Law Journal - The nature of the Malawian Presidency

Volume 6, Issue 1
  • ISSN : 1996-7675


The Malawian Constitution, like many other constitutions adopted by African states in the 1990s, creates a presidency that is subject to it. The President is supposed to be elected in free and fair elections held every five years and to uphold and defend the Constitution. Yet evidence abounds over the past 18 years of many and consistent unconstitutional practices and violations of the fundamental principles of democracy by the presidency. An analysis of various constitutional provisions reveals a disjuncture between the Constitution's fundamental principles and the structural relations of the institutions of the state it creates. While the Constitution is unmistakably democratic and committed to the protection of human rights, the power relations between the institutions of the state is skewed in favour of the presidency and the practice over the past 18 years has just proved as much. This calls for a re-evaluation of the assumptions that were made during the drafting of the Constitution about the presidency.

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