AC4 Fellow Stephanie Regalia Publishes Paper on Malawi Politics for IFRI

AC4 Graduate Fellow Stephanie Regalia was part of a team project in Malawi with the Business and Human Rights Clinic at Columbia Law School. Her project focused on studying large-scale land investments in Malawi and developing investor tools that minimize these disruptions to protect human rights. However, during her time there, she was also able to gain more understanding of the current political climate.

Malawi will hold elections for their President, Members of Parliament and local Councillors on May 21st, 2019. Stephanie had many conversations with community members and other stakeholders about what these upcoming elections mean for the political system, land rights, and corruption and published a policy paper for the Institut Français des Relations Internationales (Ifri).

This paper explores some of the reasons behind this changing political landscape. It looks at the DPP’s recent loss of support due to discontent with rampant corruption and a controversial land reform passed in 2016. It also examines the landscape of challengers, including the current Vice President Saulos Chilima, following his departure from DPP ranks to form a new political movement, the United Transformation Movement (UTM). Given the diversity of large political parties in contention, which also includes Atupele Muluzi’s United Democratic Front (UDF) and Joyce Banda’s People’s Party (PP), the possibility of securing victory in the 2019 presidential election may rest on the ability of political parties to form strategic electoral alliances. This may require moving past political parties formed solely around the personality and identity of their leaders to a more issue-based political debate.

Read the full paper here to learn about this important moment in Malawi’s political history!

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