Namibian elections draw to a close

2009-11-28 18:02

Windhoek - Namibians were voting Saturday in the second and final day of national and presidential elections that are expected to return the long-ruling Swapo to power despite a challenge from a new breakaway party.

Officials reported long queues on Friday and Saturday, with turnout easing off later in the day in the mainly desert nation.

President Hifikepunye Pohamba, the successor to Namibia's founding father Sam Nujoma, is seeking a second term in office and is expected to see off a challenge from a former foreign minister.

The former revolutionary South West African People's Organisation (Swapo) has dominated politics since winning independence from neighbouring South Africa in 1990 after a low-level civil war.

Namibia has known economic prosperity and political stability since then, and the country is rich in minerals such as diamonds, uranium, zinc and tanzanite. It also shares a border with oil-producing Angola.

Pohamba's main challenger is the upstart Rally for Democracy and Progress (RDP) of former foreign minister Hidipo Hamutenya, who launched the new party two years ago after losing a bid to take over Swapo himself.

The two parties are the biggest of 12 putting forward candidates for the presidency, with the RDP claiming about 250 000 supporters from an estimated 1.1 million voters.

Hamutenya was a popular figure within Swapo, and he hopes to tap into dissatisfaction with the ruling party.

Five years ago Swapo took three-fourths of the vote for both president and parliament - the same result as the 1999 polls. The RDP does not expect to win, but does hope to become the main opposition party.

Tensions have occasionally turned violent, with stonings and intimidation directed at RDP members.

Overall, the campaign was low key, with Swapo taking credit for roads, clinics and classrooms built in the past five years but vague about its future targets.

Electoral Commission of Namibia (ECN) chairman Victor Tonchi said turnout has been brisk.

The first polling results are expected by noon on Sunday, an ECN official said.

"Counting will immediately start after polls close at 21:00 tonight and we hope to have the first results coming in by midday on Sunday," ECN deputy operations director Theo Mujoro told AFP.

Read more on:    swapo  |  hifikepunye pohamba  |  namibia  |  namibian elections
NEXT ON NEWS24X
SHARE:

Read News24’s Comments Policy

 

Inside News24

 
/Dewani Trial
 

Red Bull Lionheart trail run - not for the fainthearted!

Entries are open, so what are you waiting for?

 
 

Where were you when you last felt alive?

Adventure holidays for your bucket list
Top 10 water sports to try before you die
6 impressive camping tips
LOL! The 8 stages of marathon running

Jobs in Cape Town [change area]

Property [change area]

Travel - Look, Book, Go!

Magical Massinga

Spend 5 nights at the gorgeous Massinga Beach Lodge in Mozambique and only pay for 4 from R13 220 per person sharing. Includes return flights, accommodation, transfers and romantic turndown. Book now!

Kalahari.com - shop online today

Save up to R1000 on Hisense smartphones!

View the large range of Hisense smartphones. Buy today and save up to R1000!

Deal of the week!

Save R1200 on the Samsung 48” smart full HD LED television now only R8799. Buy now!

Toys 4 for the price of 3

Buy 4 toys and get the cheapest FREE! Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

Mind blowing prices – As seen on TV

Get mind blowing prices on 1000’s of products! Shop now.

Save 20% on Nivea beauty products!

Buy any two Nivea beauty products and save 20%. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

OLX Free Classifieds [change area]

Samsung Galaxy s4

Mobile, Cell Phones in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 24

Best bargain in big bay

Real Estate, Houses - Apartments for Sale in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

VW Golf 6, 1.6 Trendline (Excellent condition)

Vehicles, Cars in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

Horoscopes
Aquarius
Aquarius

There is an easy social flow and the need to blend in, yet you may not feel entirely comfortable. Something beneath the surface...read more

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.








Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.