Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Namibia:Ruling party wins landslide election

Namibia's ruling party has won a landslide victory in the parliamentary and presidential election, the country's electoral commission said Monday.

The ruling SWAPO party won 80 percent of the vote in the parliamentary election in the southern African country. In the presidential election, the party's candidate Hage Geingob got 87 percent of votes.

The SWAPO party also won 77 seats in the National Assembly, leaving only 19 seats to be shared among opposition parties, according to the Namibian Press Association.

The SWAPO party has ruled Namibia since its independence from South Africa in 1990. The country, which benefits from major diamond and uranium reserves, enjoys political stability. Election observers from the African Union and the 15-nation Southern African Development Community declared the elections free and fair.

United States Secretary of State John Kerry congratulated Namibia on the elections.

"The extraordinary participation among first-time voters and women candidates reflects the progress that Namibia has made," Kerry said in a statement.

Geingob's closest rival, McHenry Venaani of the Democratic Turnhalle Alliance, earned five percent of the vote. The Democratic Turnhalle Alliance, which won 4.8 percent of the parliamentary vote, is the official opposition with five seats.

Namibians voted on Friday, using electronic voting machines instead of ballot paper for the first time. The commission said around 72 percent of Namibia's 1.2 million eligible voters participated.

Geingob will be inaugurated on March 21, 2015, along with the new cabinet.


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