Established in 1891 the British protectorate of Nyasaland became the independent nation of Malawi in 1964. After three decades of one-party rule under President Hastings Kamuzu BANDA the country held multiparty elections in 1994 under a provisional constitution that came into full effect the following year. Current President Bingu wa MUTHARIKA elected in May 2004 after a failed attempt by the previous president to amend the constitution to permit another term struggled to assert his authority against his predecessor and subsequently started his own party the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) in 2005. As president MUTHARIKA has overseen substantial economic improvement but because of political deadlock in the legislature his minority party has been unable to pass significant legislation and anti-corruption measures have stalled. Population growth increasing pressure on agricultural lands corruption and the spread of HIV/AIDS pose major problems for Malawi.
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