Malawi Freedom Day

Malawi Freedom Day

June 14
Malawi Freedom Day is a public holiday celebrating the end of the corrupt totalitarian regime that ruled the country for nearly three decades. In 1966, two years after becoming an autonomous nation free from the British government, the African country of Malawi established a new constitution and became a single-party state. Dr. Hastings Kamuzu Banda, leader of the conservative Malawi Congress Party (MCP), became the nation's first president. In 1971, Banda was declared president for life, a position he retained until the 1990s with the help of the paramilitary wing of the MCP.
In 1993, however, growing domestic unrest and pressure from church leaders and the international community forced Banda to allow a public referendum. The Malawian people were asked to decide between continued one-party rule and a multiparty democracy. On June 14, 63% of voters opted to end one-party rule and Banda's regime in favor of democratic leadership. National elections were conducted on May 17, 1994, and the United Democratic Front candidate Bakili Muluzu won the presidency.
CONTACTS:
Malawi Embassy
2408 Massachusetts Ave. N.W.
Washington, D.C. 20008
202-797-1007
SOURCES:
AnnivHol-2000, p. 100
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