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Vol 40 No 11

Published 28th May 1999


Malawi

Muluzi's democracy test

Five years after the end of Banda's dicatorship, politics is at a crossroads

Malawi's second multi-party elections are set to be a close-run thing. President Bakili Muluzi's ruling United Democratic Front is neck and neck with the opposition alliance of Gwanda Chakuamba's Malawi Congress Party (led for three decades by the late dictator Kamuzu Hastings Banda) and Chakufwa Chihana's Alliance for Democracy (Aford). Election arrangements have been marred by a combination of political manoeuvring and organisational incompetence. The UDF government had tried to push through voter registration and was reluctant to postpone the vote, originally scheduled for 25 May, believing the longer the election campaign, the stronger its opponents might become. Then in-fighting in the Electoral Commission and lack of preparations made postponement inevitable.

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