The Malawi Congress Party (MCP) is a political party in Malawi. It was the successor to the Nyasaland African Congress (NAC), which was banned in 1959. The MCP was founded by Hastings Banda and other NAC leaders in 1960. Hastings Banda became the first MCP president, and later the first president of Malawi.
It won all of the seats in the legislature in the 1961 Nyasaland elections, and led the country to independence as Malawi in 1964. When Malawi became a republic in 1966, the MCP was formally declared to be the only legal party. All adult citizens were required to be party members. They had to carry "party cards" in their wallets at all times. The MCP lost its monopoly on power in a 1993 referendum, and was roundly defeated in the country's first free elections the next year.
Unlike other former single parties in Africa, the MCP remains a major force in Malawi. It is strongest in the central region populated by ethnic Chewa and Nyanja people.
At the last general elections, held on 19 May 2009, its candidate for president, John Tembo (a longtime confidant of Banda), won 30.7% of the vote, and the party won 26 out of 193 seats.
It was the successor to the Nyasaland African Congress (NAC), which was banned in 1959. The MCP was founded by Hastings Banda and other NAC leaders in 1960. It came to power in 1964 remained in power under Banda's rule until 1994.
Notable MCP members