Party spectrum consolidation – Is Malawi’s young government party in the center of the society?
Malawi’s general elections are ruled by the majority rule – first-past-the-post (FPTP). The FPTP theoretically shapes a two or two and a half party system, but at least a party system with two strong parties which alternate in governmental power and few smaller parties. The voting system has the effect of single majority party governments and so on. The past has shown that Malawi’s elections turned out with coalition government in 1999 (MCP, AFORD) and 2004 (UDF, AFORD). But in 2009 the DDP, founded four years ago mainly out of the UDF, dominates. The DPP holds 58 percent of all votes at its first general election. A three and a half party system is shaped with these results for the next four years.
Generally can be said that low participation give advantages for smaller parties. These parties are typically on the edge of a society and take advantage. The EISA describes the DPP as liberal party.
Beginning in 1994 with a two and a half party system, according to the voting system, at the next election in 1999 the Independence has forced the coalition of MCP and AFORD. The elections in 2004 the AFORD became newly the kingmaker, but this time with the UDF. In consequence it seems that AFORD is somewhere between UDF and MCP on a left-right spectrum. Back in 1999 the votes lost by AFORD almost all were won by the Independence which lets assume a position for the Independence somewhere between AFORD and MCP. On that side of the spectrum were formed additional parties at the 2004 campaigning. It seems that the DPP is positioned exactly in the centre of the Malawi society, where a liberal party usually takes place. The DPP seems to combine the habits of a catch-all party with the habits of a professionalized voter party. But another aspects seem very important. The Party Leader is well known and took broad fellows to his new party. The fact of having a nation wide party organisation structure and being able to campaign professional seems to be an add in Malawi.