NewsPolitics and Elections

Namibia: Opposition claims fraud as incumbent President is re-elected

56.3% is the percentage of votes casted on the incumbent Namibian President Hage Geingob. Though the percentage of votes casted on him dropped drastically as compared to five years ago when he first won, the 56.3% still gave him victory.

According to election commission figures released Saturday evening. Panduleni Itula, The leader of the South West African People’s Organisation (SWAPO), which has been in power since Namibia’s independence in 1990, won 30% of the vote.

Opposition leader McHenry Venaani polled just 5.3%. His party, the People’s Democratic Movement’s ties to apartheid South Africa continues to discourage a large portion of the electorate.

The win of incumbent president succits a lot of disagreement of the opposition leaders who claims the elections was fraudulent. That notwithstanding, Hage Geingob stays positive and said after the declaration of the results that, “Democracy is the real winner.”  Panduleni Itula and the leader of a new opposition party, Bernadus Swartbooi’s Landless Movement (LPM), reported electoral fraud. Itula claimed that the exercise was marred by “irregularities”.

Panduleni Itula came out on top in the capital, Windhoek to express his discontent about the elections. The 62-year-old former dentist, who accuses the president of selling the country’s wealth to foreigners, is particularly popular among young people.  Graham Hopwood of Namibia’s main think tank, the Institute for Public Policy Research noted that the appearance of Itula at the capital Windhoek   “served as a springboard for frustration and brought together the entire president’s disgruntled people.”

Namibia’s electoral system has been digitalized and it was the first African country to introduce electronic voting in 2014. The equipment has been criticized by the opposition, which claims that the absence of paper ballots increases the possibility of fraud.

The Southern African Development Community (SADC), for its part, said that the elections “were generally peaceful, well organized allowing voters to exercise their democratic duty”.

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