Above all, Chakufwa Chihana, the leader of AFORD, was only released the day before the referendum.
UDF and AFORD argued that they could be incorporated into their parties.
AFORD and a minor party, Kamlepo Kalua's Malawi Democratic Party (MDP), continued to call for protest and for a while boycotted NCC meetings but, as their protest appeared to be futile, they returned to the NCC.
This was fiercely resisted by AFORD for the likely reason that they also expected a minority vote in the parliamentary elections, but hoped that Chihana would stand a chance of winning the presidential elections.
UDF and AFORD were again the main antagonists, while MCP was little heard of.
Their leader, Bakili Muluzi, became president without an absolute majority (1,404,754 or 47 per cent), followed by Kamuzu Banda, MCP, (996,553 or 33 per cent), Chakufwa Chihana, AFORD, (585,689 or 19.
AFORD won all parliamentary seats in the north, and Chihana got between 85 and 92 per cent of the vote in all districts there.
So AFORD had the strongest regional base in the north.
The swing of votes from MCP went virtually Wholly to UDF as AFORD was strong in few constituencies outside the north.
The results showed, therefore, voting patterns which were regionally dominated by AFORD in the north, MCP in the centre and UDF in the south.