Geingob Wins Seafarers’ Vote

SWAPO and its presidential candidate Hage Geingob were on Friday elected by about 1 815 seagoing workers who cast their votes at Walvis Bay and Luumlderitz.

Geingob garnered 1 686 (83%) votes compared to Hidipo Hamutenya of RDP who won 73 votes, while Swapo grossed 1 593 (88%) against 91 for RDP.

Sixteen parties contested the election with nine of them fielding presidential candidates.

At Walvis Bay about 1 440 voters turned up and about 374 voted at Luumlderitz. Walvis Bay had two polling stations – Hosiana Evangelical Lutheran Church and the Kuisebmond Community Hall, while Luumlderitz had one – the German Hostel Hall.

The polling stations saw voters queuing as early as 05h00 before the stations officially opened from 07h00 to 21h00.

The Namibian understands that the rest of the estimated 4 000 seagoing personnel will vote with the rest of Namibia on 28 November. Those that did not vote on Friday were out at sea – especially at Luumlderitz.

Electoral Commission of Namibia (ECN) director Paul Isaak was happy with the process, calling it “free, fair and transparent”.

“Generally it was a very long day for everyone but the process kept on going in the right direction,” he told The Namibian.

At Walvis Bay there were more than 100 people still in the queue at the closing time, but they were allowed to vote until around midnight. The results were announced around 02h00 on Saturday.

Isaak said the biggest time consumer was paper work involving the submission of lists from over 22 fishing companies that had to be verified at the polling stations.

“This verification was complicated,” said Isaak, adding though that this process was only for the seagoing voters and that the official voting date on 28 November will be faster because of hand-held verification machines. “There will be no paper work. This will cut the time from five minutes per person to one minute.”

Voting was delayed for about 15 minutes in the ‘presidential’ cubicle at Kuisebmond polling station earlier in the day when a voter jammed the electronic voting machine by pressing a button too hard. An ECN official managed to solve the problem.

“Otherwise, the machines are accurate and effective. The matter here is that we need to match human functionality with the pace of the machines then things will be much quicker” said Isaak.

Source : The Namibian