Governance Link Initiative

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The United Democratic Front

The United Democratic Front

The United Democratic Front (UDF) is one of the major political parties in Malawi. Officially registered in 1993, the party was founded in 1992 by a number of senior memebrs of the Malawi Congress Party (MCP), including Harry Thomson, Dumbo Lemani (late), Dr. Kahume, Wenham Nakanya and former President Bakili Muluzi (late) who led the party into power in the general elections of 1994 and remained in power until 2004, serving two terms.

Prior to the end of his term, Muluzi appointed Dr. Bingu Wa Mutharika to take over the mantle from him towards the 2004 general elections. Muluzi, remained National Chairman of the party after retiring as President of the Republic of Malawi until 2009 when he retired from active politics.

UDF continued in power under the leadership of Bingu wa Mutharika after winning the general elections in 2004, however, Mutharika came into conflict with much of the party including Muluzi, and he decided to leave the party and formed his own, the Democratic Progressive Party in February 2005. This led to mass defections from UDF to the ruling DPP, as well as UDF became an opposition party.  In 2009 DPP won the general elections with majority vote.

Currently, UDF is under the leadership of Atupele Muluzi, son of former President, Bakili Muluzi and member of parliament for Machinga North East constituency. UDF is currently in a working partnership with DPP in parliament, and has most of its members in parliament sitting on the government bloc, which resulted in the party forfeiting its voice and membership in the Business Committee of the Malawi Parliament. UDF operates under the slogan, Delivering Change in Malawi.

UDF’s Vision

We want to change Malawi into an open society that thrives on fair distribution of resources and opportunities for all.

UDF’s Mission

Abbreviation: UDF
Year Founded: 1992
Leader: Atupele Muluzi
Secretary General: Kandi Padambo
Headquarters: Blantyre
Youth Wing: Yellow Youth
Ideology: Liberalism
Political Position: Centre-Right
Colours: Yellow, Green
National Assembly 14/193
Parliament Representation: 7%
African Affiliation: Africa Liberal Network
Election Symbol: Pair of holding hands