United Democratic Front (Malawi)

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United Democratic Front
PresidentAtupele Muluzi
Secretary-GeneralKandi Padambo
SpokespersonKen Ndanga
FounderBakili Muluzi
FoundedOctober 1993
Youth wingYellow Youth
Political positionCentre to centre-right
African affiliationAfrica Liberal Network
ColorsYellow, Blue
SloganDelivering Change in Malawi
National Assembly
10 / 193
0 / 5
Pan-African Parliament
0 / 5
Election symbol
Pair of holding hands

The United Democratic Front is a political party in Malawi founded in 1992 by Bakili Muluzi.[1] It claims to be a liberal party in Malawi and is mainly strong in the southern region populated by ethnic Yao. Bakili Muluzi was President of Malawi from 1994 to 2004.


The United Democratic Front is a prominent political party in Malawi that was founded in 1992 by Bakili Muluzi.[2] Until 2009 the party was a member of Liberal International, which it joined at the latter's Reykjavík Congress in 1994.[3]

Rise of DPP faction[edit]

It came into power in 1994 under Bakili Muluzi who was in power until 2004, serving two terms. It continued in power under Bingu wa Mutharika, however since Muluzi remained the head of the party. After succeeding Muluzi, Mutharika came into conflict with much of the party, including Muluzi, and he left the party in February 2005 to form the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP). In 2009 it was the DPP which won the election. This led to mass defections from the UDF to the ruling DPP. The party however, continued to restructure.

Political performance[edit]

In 1994, the UDF candidate Bakili Muluzi came to power in Malawi. In the general election held on 20 May 2004, the UDF's candidate for president, Bingu wa Mutharika, won 35.9% of the vote and was elected. The party also won 49 out of 194 seats.

On 24 April 2008, a UDF convention, which included 2,000 delegates, chose Muluzi as the party's 2009 presidential candidate, despite questions about his eligibility due to term limits. He received 1,950 votes at the convention against 38 for Vice-President Cassim Chilumpha.[4]

UDF presidents[edit]

UDF members[edit]

Electoral history[edit]

Presidential elections[edit]

Election Party candidate Votes % Result
1994 Bakili Muluzi 1,404,754 47.15% Elected Green tickY
1999 Bakili Muluzi 2,442,685 45.21% Elected Green tickY
2004 Bingu wa Mutharika 1,195,586 35.97% Elected Green tickY
2014 Atupele Muluzi 717,224 13.7% Lost Red XN
2019 Atupele Muluzi 235,164 4.67% Lost Red XN

National Assembly elections[edit]

Election Party leader Votes % Seats +/– Position
1994 Bakili Muluzi 1,375,878 46.53%
85 / 177
Increase 85 Increase 1st
1999 Bakili Muluzi 2,124,999 47.32%
93 / 193
Increase 8 Steady 1st
2004 Bakili Muluzi 801,200 25.34%
49 / 193
Decrease 44 Steady 1st
2009 Bakili Muluzi 562,025 12.92%
17 / 193
Decrease 32 Decrease 3rd
2014 Atupele Muluzi 496,765 9.63%
14 / 193
Decrease 3 Decrease 4th
2019 Atupele Muluzi Unknown Unknown
10 / 193
Decrease 4 Increase 3rd

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 22 April 2012. Retrieved 21 April 2012.CS1 maint: Archived copy as title (link)
  2. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 22 April 2012. Retrieved 21 April 2012.CS1 maint: Archived copy as title (link)
  3. ^ UDF page at Liberal International website Archived 26 September 2007 at the Wayback Machine.
  4. ^ "Tough times ahead for Muluzi", Sapa-AFP (IOL), 25 April 2008.