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Namibia - 2014 Elections

Elections held on 28 November 2014 resulted in the election of Prime Minister Hage Geingob to the presidency and retention by the ruling South West Africa Peoples Organization (SWAPO) of its large parliamentary majority. Despite some reported irregularities, international observers characterized the election as generally free and fair. Authorities generally maintained effective control over security forces.

Voters elected SWAPO candidate Hage Geingob as president with 86 percent of the vote. SWAPO candidates won 77 of the 96 elected seats in the National Assembly, the lower house of parliament (there are also eight appointed seats). International observers characterized the election as generally free and fair.

Namibia was the first African nation to use electronic voting machines (EVMs) in its 2014 national and presidential elections. But the EVMs were heavily criticised, especially by opposition parties, regarding their reliability because the machines do not produce a verifiable paper trail.

There continued to be allegations that individuals who were not members of SWAPO had difficulty finding civil service employment or winning government tenders. Prior to elections held in November, women held 22 of 78 seats in the National Assembly. There were also seven women in the 26-seat National Council, the upper house of parliament. There were five female ministers and six female deputy ministers among the 41 ministerial and deputy ministerial officers. There were three female judges among the 11 permanent judges on the High Court.

Virtually all of the countrys ethnic minorities had representation in parliament and in senior positions in the cabinet. Historic economic and educational disadvantages limited the participation of some indigenous ethnic groups in politics. Although some perceived the SWAPO party as dominated by the majority Ovambos, members of minority ethnic groups held the offices of prime minister, deputy prime minister, speaker of the National Assembly, and deputy chairperson of the National Council prior to elections held in November. Ethnic representation in the new government was unclear at years end. A SWAPO party constitutional amendment requiring gender parity at all levels of the party structure took effect on August 26.

In the November 2015 regional and local council elections, the ruling SWAPO party won 112 of 121 regional council seats and gained control of 54 of 57 local districts. Voting proceeded in an orderly and effective manner with no reports of politically motivated violence or voter intimidation. In the 2014 presidential and parliamentary elections, voters elected SWAPO candidate Hage Geingob president with 87 percent of the vote. SWAPO candidates won 77 of the 96 elected seats in the National Assembly, the lower house of parliament (there are also eight appointed seats). International observers characterized elections in 2014 and during the year as generally free and fair. Virtually all of the countrys ethnic minorities had representation in parliament and held senior positions in the cabinet. The president was from the minority Damara ethnic group. Historic economic and educational disadvantages, however, continued to limit the participation in politics of some indigenous ethnic groups, such as the San and Himba.





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