United Democratic Front

Published 5th June, 2014

The United Democratic Front or UDF was founded in 1992 by Bakili Muluzi and was officially recognised in October 1993 when multi-party democracy returned to Malawi. The party believes in Liberalism.

In its first election in 1994 the UDF benefitted from the first multi-party elections since 1963 and won 85 of the 177 seats in the National Congress. Its leader Bakili Muluzi won the Presidential election, taking 47.15% of the vote. He was returned again in 1999 with 52.38% of the vote. The UDF also did well, taking 93 seats in the 192 seat parliament.

However, 1999 was to be the high point for the UDF. In 2004 they dropped to 49 seats and in 2009 that went down to 17 with just 14 seats retained in 2014.

Having said that, Bingu wa Mutharika, standing for the UDF won the 2004 Presidential election with 35.9% of the vote, but in February 2005 he left the UDF and formed the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP). That was the last time, to date, that the party won a Presidential election.

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