2. Dezember 2014

Elections bring SWAPO triomph, Geingob President-elect

THE crushing defeat that the Swapo Party and its candidate Hage Geingob inflicted on their electoral rivals in last week's Presidential and National Assembly elections has taken the ruling party to new levels of popularity and political dominance never seen before in Namibia.

The 86,7% of the votes Geingob received in the presidential election outstrips the level of popularity that both the founding President Sam Nujoma and President Hifikepunye Pohamba enjoyed in Namibia's previous presidential polls, and also shows that Geingob has received substantially broader support at the polls than his party did.

At the same time, Swapo's share of the vote in the National Assembly election has increased to 80% - also the highest level of support the ruling party has received from the Namibian electorate.

He has received a heavy responsibility with his electoral victory, Geingob said in brief remarks made after the announcement of the election results yesterday evening.

“I'll be the President for all the Namibian people,” he said, adding that it would be his mission to ensure that no Namibian is left out.

After keeping Namibia's electorate, which endured long queues and a slow voting process at polling stations on Friday, waiting for another three days, the election results were announced by the Electoral Commission of Namibia at about 19h20 yesterday.

ECN chairperson Notemba Tjipueja declared the Prime Minister as having been duly elected as Namibia's next President after announcing that Geingob had scored 772 528 of the total of 890 738 votes cast in the presidential election.

Geingob's closest rival, DTA leader McHenry Venaani, received 44 271 votes (4,9% of the total), followed by RDP leader Hidipo Hamutenya, with 30 197 votes (3,4%).

Nujoma won the 1994 presidential election with 74,4% of the vote, while his support increased to 76,8% in the 1999 election. In 2005 and again in 2009, Pohamba was elected President with 76,4% of the vote.

“Democracy remains incomplete without losers,” Venaani said in a short concession speech after Tjipueja's announcement of the results. “Democracy is a cycle of winning and losing.”

Namibia's democracy is safe and sound, he said.

Addressing Geingob directly, Venaani said: “As leader of the official opposition-elect I will keep you on your toes.”

By winning 715 026 of the 893 643 votes cast in the National Assembly election, Swapo will fill 77 of the 96 seats for elected members of the expanded NA from 21 March next year.

While the ruling party has risen to a new height of popularity and dominance, opposition parties have seen their share of the votes in the NA election drop. The DTA of Namibia, the All People's Party, and the Workers Revolutionary Party have managed to buck this trend, though.

For the Rally for Democracy and Progress and the Congress of Democrats, the 2014 elections had been a disaster.

Five years after the RDP won eight seats in the National Assembly with 11,3% of the vote in the 2009 election, the party has suffered a major setback at the polls, with its share of the vote falling to 3,5% (31 372 votes). The RDP will have only three seats in the next NA. The number of votes that the RDP received this year is about a third of the 90 556 votes it had won in the 2009 election.

The CoD, which entered the National Assembly with seven seats after winning 10,05% of the votes cast in the 1999 NA election, will not be returning to parliament next year. Its share of the vote imploded to only 0,38% this year.

For the DTA, 20 years of electoral decline have been halted and reversed this year, but the party is still far from the levels of support it had during the 1990s. The former official opposition, which had two seats in the NA after the 2009 election, in which it scored only 3% of the vote, won 42 933 votes (4,8% of the total) in the NA election this year. That gives the DTA five seats in the next NA and the status of official opposition.

The APP's electoral fortunes have also improved since 2009, when the party won 1,35% of the votes cast in the NA election. After having only one member in the NA over the past almost five years, the APP will have two MPs in the next NA. The party received 20 431 votes (2,3% of the total votes) this year.

The UDF, with 18 945 votes (2% of the total), won two seats in the next NA (2,4% in 2009, resulting in two seats), while Nudo won two seats on the back of 17 942 votes (2% of the vote, compared to 3% and two seats in 2009).

The Workers Revolutionary Party will, for the first time, have members in parliament from 21 March 2015. The leftist party, which drew 13 328 votes, has been allocated two seats in the NA.

Although they did not win enough votes to reach the NA seat quota of 9 308 votes, Swanu, the United People's Movement, and the Republican Party have been allocated one seat each as a result of the system of allocating seats to parties based on the number of surplus votes received by the parties.

Swanu received 6 354 votes, the UPM 6 353 votes, and the RP 6 099 votes.

About 72% of the country's 1 241 194 registered voters cast their votes in the NA election. (The Namibian, Windhoek)


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