THE ruling Swapo Party and its presidential candidate, Prime Minister Hage Geingob, last night appeared on course to scoring an overwhelming victory in Namibia's national elections.
Elections Director Paul Isaak said last night full results will be announced “at a convenient time” today.
With Swapo storming to a landslide victory in preliminary results released by the Electoral Commission of Namibia since Saturday, other parties are either scrambling for the second position or struggling for survival in the next expanded National Assembly of 96 elected members.
The Rally for Democracy and Progress, which was seen as a challenger to Swapo's hold on power, has become the biggest loser in the latest election, if the trend of yesterday's outcomes continues. The party received heavy blows from the ruling party in areas where it had hoped to pick up votes or retain the support it received in the 2009 election, and also saw the DTA increasing its support at the RDP's expense.
Signs that the RDP was battered in the North started appearing when initial election results indicated that the party failed to challenge the ruling party in regions such as Ohangwena.
At Epembe constituency in Ohangwena, Geingob received 98,5% of the presidential vote while the remaining 1,5% was shared among opposition parties' presidential candidates.
Geingob received 10 995 (92,2%) from a total of 11 925 votes cast in the presidential election in the Oshikango constituency, where RDP leader Hidipo Hamutenya settled for a distant second place with 714 votes (6%).
Swapo secretary general Nangolo Mbumba said yesterday he was happy with how the results were coming out, despite earlier concerns by party leaders about potential voters who were turned away from polling stations.
“We are more than happy and very grateful for the voters who chose to vote for Swapo. We are also grateful to those who voted for the opposition. It is part of democracy,” he said.
By yesterday, the ECN only announced verified results from about half of the country's constituencies.
Swapo's results centre indicated that Geingob was leading the presidential race with over 510 000 votes out of 600 000 votes, followed by DTA leader McHenry Venaani with close to 30 000 votes.
Preliminary results that the ECN placed on its website late yesterday showed that Geingob was leading in the presidential election with 85% of the vote, followed by Venaani with 5,5% and Hamutenya with 3,7%.
Swapo was leading in the National Assembly election with 75,2% of the vote, followed by the DTA with 6,3% (3% in 2009), the RDP with 4% (compared to 11,3% in 2009), the UDF at 2,5%, Nudo at 2,3%, the All People's Party at 2,3%, the Workers Revolutionary Party at 1,48%, and the United People's Movement at 1,32%.
Figures collated by Swapo's results centre showed that by 18h00 yesterday, the ruling party was leading in the scramble for National Assembly seats with over 400 000 votes out of a total of 500 000 votes. The DTA was in second place with 23 000 votes.
DTA secretary general Vincent Kanyetu said yesterday he was happy with the votes his party has been receiving, but added that Namibia might be in a dangerous position if the current trend of the ruling party's winning rates continues. “It is dangerous to democracy when you find that the ruling party is winning by high, high numbers of votes,” he said.
Venaani appeared set to stop the fall in support his party has been receiving at the ballot box over the past 20 years, with the latest results showing that the party has gained momentum to get over seven seats in the National Assembly.
The figures back up predictions by commentators such as the Institute for Public Policy Research's Graham Hopwood, who said last week the RDP would face a stiff challenge from the DTA led by the youthful Venaani.
“The DTA is likely to be the only opposition party which picks up support - but probably mostly at the expense of the RDP and other opposition parties,” he said.
Preliminary results released by the ECN over the weekend indicate that Swapo not only steamrollered over opposition parties in all but a handful of constituencies, but has also increased its share of the vote in many constituencies. At the same time, the support that the RDP had in the 2009 election has waned in many constituencies. The DTA saw an increase in support in some constituencies, and a decrease in others.
In the John Pandeni constituency in Khomas, which Swapo won with 59% of the vote in 2009, the ruling party's support increased to 77,5% this year. The RDP received 4,3% of the vote - less than a quarter of the support of 20,5% that it received in 2009. The DTA's share of the vote in John Pandeni constituency increased from 2,8% in 2009 to 6,9% this year.
In the Katutura Central constituency, also in Khomas, opposition parties' combined support outstripped that of Swapo in 2009. This year, Swapo increased its share of the vote in that constituency to 49,7%, from 38,7% in 2009. The RDP received 21,8% of the vote in Katutura Central in 2009. This year, its support is down to 3,9% of the vote. The DTA's support increased to 18,7% in Katutura Central, compared to 6,6% in 2009, while Nudo's support went down to 12,4%, from 20,3% in 2009.
The RDP's share of the vote in the Khomasdal constituency in Khomas went down from 27,5% in 2009 to 6% this year, while Swapo's share grew to 68%, from 56,7% in 2009.
Swapo's share of the vote also increased strongly in Hardap, where the RDP's support showed a similar decrease as in other parts of the country, results released by the ECN show.
Swapo won the National Assembly election in the Gibeon constituency with 66,8% of the vote - a 20% increase on its support of 46% in 2009. The RDP's share of the vote at Gibeon fell back to 8%, from 21% in 2009.
In the Mariental Rural constituency, in which Swapo drew 44,7% of the votes in 2009, the ruling party stormed to victory with 72% of the vote this year. The RDP's support in that constituency fell from 16% in 2009 to 4% this year, while the DTA's support fell from 20% in 2009 to 5% this year.
The RDP's support also fell in the Mariental Urban constituency, from 27% of the vote in 2009 to 4,7% this year. Swapo's support in that constituency went up from 54,5% of the vote in 2009 to 75,8% this year.
In another Hardap constituency, Rehoboth West Urban, the United People's Movement beat Swapo by two votes, with 1 742 votes (39,96% of the total votes cast) to 1 740 votes (39,92%). In 2009, Swapo's share of the vote in that constituency was 24%. The RDP's share of the vote in Rehoboth Urban West collapsed from 40,2% in 2009 to 4,4% this year.
At Epupa in Kunene, the DTA's share of votes increased from 40,4% in 2009 to 45,8% this year. Swapo's share of the vote in the Epupa constituency is, at 47,8%, slightly lower than the 48,8% it received in 2009.
The effects of the Swapo steamroller could also be seen in Omaheke. In the Gobabis constituency, Swapo scored 67% of the votes cast - up from 50,3% in 2009 - while the DTA's share of the vote went up from 5,6% in 2009 to 9% this year. The RDP's support slid from 17% in 2009 to 3,5% this year.