Voting opens in Namibia for presidential and national assembly elections

President Hage Geingob, who is vying for a second term in office was the first to cast his ballot at his polling station in Windhoek
Voting opens in Namibia for presidential and national assembly elections

The 2019 Namibian general election is underway, with voting nearing conclusion.

The country which has been ruled by the South West Africa People’s Organisation (SWAPO) since independence in 1990 is set to conduct its second electronic voting.

President Hage Geingob, who is vying for a second term in office was the first to cast his ballot at his polling station in the Namibian capital, Windhoek.

Though very confident of victory, President Geingob disclosed he would accept defeat if he eventually loses. In his words,  “If I lost, I would accept also. I’m a democrat”.

“This is not the war, this is not the end of the world. We are just exercising our democratic rights,” he told reporters.

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READ: Namibia set for elections despite tough economy

Former SWAPO party member and an independent candidate in the 2019 election, Dr Panduleni Itula also enjoys support from a majority of the youths of the resource-rich country.

Graham Hopwood of the Institute for Public Policy Research, Namibia’s main think-tank says “Itula has acted as a lightning rod for frustrations and for people who are unhappy with the president”.

The ruling party has enjoyed a two-thirds majority in parliament since 1994.

Eleven candidates are vying for the presidency while 15 parties are running for seats in parliament in this year’s election.

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The 2019 elections ushered in the country’s first-ever female presidential candidate, Esther Muinjangue, who is vying under the National Unity Democratic Organisation (NUDO), as well as the first independent candidate, Dr Itula.

About 1.4 million Namibians out of the country’s 2.45 million population registered to vote.

Voting commenced at 7 am Namibia time and will close at 9 pm across some 4,200 polling stations.

READ: Namibia arrests former minister and ex-Investec manager on graft charges

The results are expected to be announced on Friday, 29 November.

Watch our #ElectionFever package on #NamibiaDecides2019

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