Rebellion against President Banda's one-party system
1991 and 1992 saw protests against President Banda's rule and his one-party system. In June 1993, the population voted by referendum to abolish the party system. Not much later, several parties were legalised.
The United Democratic Front (UDF) became the leading party. President Banda was defeated in 1994 by UDF candidate Bakili Muluzi. In mid-May 2004, Bingu Wa Mutharika was elected president.
Malawi in one of the poorest countries in the world
The absence of minerals, the lack of a sea port, the traditional focus on the cultivation of tea and tobacco on plantations, together with the low level of education of the population make the economic situation dramatic. On top of this came the AIDS epidemic, which wiped out an important part of the economically productive middle generation.