Joyce Banda became southern Africa's first woman leader in April 2012 when she stepped into the shoes of her predecessor when he died after a heart attack.
The two-day delay in the official announcement of Bingu wa Mutharika's death prompted fears of a power struggle, and 12 senior figures - including the late president's brother - were arrested in 2013 on charges of trying to prevent her taking over.
Ms Banda became Minister of Foreign Affairs in 2006 and the country's first female vice president in 2009.
However, she fell out with President Mutharika and was expelled from the the ruling Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) in a succession battle.
She went on to form the People's Party, and resisted attempts to deprive her of the vice-presidency.
Ms Banda is recognised for her work as a supporter of women's rights. In 2011 she was named by Forbes Magazine as Africa's third most powerful female politician after Liberian President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf and Nigerian Minister of Finance Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala.
Mr Mutharika died amid demands for his resignation and threats of unrest, following anti-government protests in 2011 when police shot 19 people dead.
The former World Bank economist was re-elected with a sweeping majority in 2009 but was increasingly accused of wrecking the economy and autocratic crack downs. His feuds with donors and lenders let the aid-dependent economy to be hamstrung.
Ms Banda has taken immediate steps to restore relations with the International Monetary Fund, including a bold devaluation of the currency by a third. In 2013 she addressed concerns about corruption by dismissing her entire cabinet.
- Administrative divisions: This entry generally gives the numbers, designatory terms, and first-order administrative divisions as approved by the US Board on Geographic Names (BGN). Changes that have been reported but not yet acted on by BGN are noted.
- Capital city > Geographic coordinates: This entry gives the name of the seat of government, its geographic coordinates, the time difference relative to Coordinated Universal Time (UTC) and the time observed in Washington, DC, and, if applicable, information on daylight saving time (DST). Where appropriate, a special note has been added to highlight those countries that have multiple time zones.
- Capital city > Name: This entry gives the name of the seat of government, its geographic coordinates, the time difference relative to Coordinated Universal Time (UTC) and the time observed in Washington, DC, and, if applicable, information on daylight saving time (DST). Where appropriate, a special note has been added to highlight those countries that have multiple time zones.
- Constitution: The dates of adoption, revisions, and major amendments to a nation's constitution
- Diplomatic representation from the US > Mailing address: This entry includes the chief of mission, embassy address, mailing address, telephone number, FAX number, branch office locations, consulate general locations, and consulate locations.
- Executive branch > Cabinet: Cabinet includes the official name for any body of high-ranking advisers roughly comparable to a U.S. Cabinet. Also notes the method for selection of members.
- Executive branch > Head of government: Head of government includes the name and title of the top administrative leader who is designated to manage the day-to-day activities of the government. For example, in the UK, the monarch is the chief of state, and the prime minister is the head of government. In the US, the president is both the chief of state and the head of government.
- Government corruption rating: Transparency, accountability, and corruption in the public sector assess the extent to which the executive can be held accountable for its use of funds and for the results of its actions by the electorate and by the legislature and judiciary, and the extent to which public employees within the executive are required to account for administrative decisions, use of resources, and results obtained. The three main dimensions assessed here are the accountability of the executive to oversight institutions and of public employees for their performance, access of civil society to information on public affairs, and state capture by narrow vested interests."
- Government type: A description of the basic form of government (e.g., republic, constitutional monarchy, federal republic, parliamentary democracy, military dictatorship).
- Judicial branch: The name(s) of the highest court(s) and a brief description of the selection process for members.
- Legal system: A brief description of the legal system's historical roots, role in government, and acceptance of International Court of Justice (ICJ) jurisdiction.
- Legislative branch: This entry contains information on the structure (unicameral, bicameral, tricameral), formal name, number of seats, and term of office. Elections includes the nature of election process or accession to power, date of the last election, and date of the next election. Election results includes the percent of vote and/or number of seats held by each party in the last election.
- Political parties and leaders: Significant political organizations and their leaders.
- Political pressure groups and leaders: Organizations with leaders involved in politics, but not standing for legislative election.
- Suffrage: The age at enfranchisement and whether the right to vote is universal or restricted
"Malawi Government Stats", NationMaster. Retrieved from http://18.104.22.168/country-info/profiles/Malawi/Government
"Malawi Government Stats, NationMaster." 1960-2014. <http://22.214.171.124/country-info/profiles/Malawi/Government>.
'Malawi Government Stats, NationMaster', <http://126.96.36.199/country-info/profiles/Malawi/Government> [assessed 1960-2014]
"Malawi Government Stats", NationMaster [Internet]. 1960-2014. Avaliable from: <http://188.8.131.52/country-info/profiles/Malawi/Government>.
"Malawi Government Stats", NationMaster. Avaliable at: nationmaster.com. Assessed 1960-2014.
"Malawi Government Stats, NationMaster," http://184.108.40.206/country-info/profiles/Malawi/Government (assessed 1960-2014)
"Malawi Government Stats", NationMaster, http://220.127.116.11/country-info/profiles/Malawi/Government (last visited 1960-2014)
"Malawi Government Stats", NationMaster, http://18.104.22.168/country-info/profiles/Malawi/Government (as of 1960-2014)