Background: 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, which came into full effect the following year. Current President Bingu wa MUTHARIKA, elected in May 2004 after the previous president failed to amend the constitution to permit another term, has struggled to assert his authority against his predecessor, who still leads their shared political party. MATHARIKA's anti-corruption efforts have led to several high-level arrests but no convictions. Increasing corruption, population growth, increasing pressure on agricultural lands, and HIV/AIDS pose major problems for the country.
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