1.2 million take part in Namibia election

2014-11-28 12:19
Namibian Namibian Herero woman preparing her vote at the Ovanduvongwe polling station. (Alexander Joe, AFP)

Namibian Namibian Herero woman preparing her vote at the Ovanduvongwe polling station. (Alexander Joe, AFP)

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Windhoek - About 1.2 million Namibians are to line up to vote for a new president and parliament on Friday morning.

The election is expected to be won by Prime Minister Hage Geingob in a sixth straight victory for the ruling South West Africa People's Organisation (Swapo) party.

Geingob, aged 73, who has twice served as prime minister of the diamond and uranium-rich former German colony, faces eight challengers in the race to replace President Hifikepunye Pohamba, who has been in power since 2005 and is barred from running for a third term.

Swapo, which has ruled Namibia since independence in 1990, is expected to preserve its two-thirds majority in parliament.

Many young voters, frustrated with Swapo's failure to address widespread poverty in one of Africa's richest countries, are backing the opposition Democratic Turnhalle Alliance. Its 37-year-old chief, former minister McHenry Venaani, is running for president.

About 1 200 fixed and 2 700 mobile polling stations are set to close at 9pm. Because they are linked to an electronic system, it will be Africa's first e-vote preliminary results are expected a few hours after the polls close.

More than 40% of Namibia's population live in poverty. In addition to diamond and uranium extraction, Namibia is also a major travel destination, drawing tourists to the Namib desert that runs along its coast.

Read more on:    hage geingob  |  namibia  |  southern africa

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