Namibia Elections 2014 Fact Sheet

Background

Namibia used to be known as South West Africa until independence in 1990. The country had its first elections in 1990, which is 5 general elections since independence. The president is elected for a five-year term by the people. Parliament has two chambers. The National Council has 26 members, elected for a six-year term in double-seat constituencies (regions).

At independence, Namibia adopted a constitution as a fundamental law of the country. The constitution characterized the country as a republic that is a sovereign, secular, democratic and unitary state. Although regular elections were held in Namibia prior to independence (in 1990), these elections were run on exclusionist basis for separate administrative authorities of whites and blacks at various level of government. In actual fact, no common roll existed prior to independence. As a result, the independence elections in December 1989 were run without a national voter register. The basis of the legal and operational framework for these elections was agreed upon among the stakeholders: the South African government, the UN and political parties. This framework provided for, among other things, that the South African government would administer and conduct the elections while the United Nations Transition Assistance Group (UNTAG) would monitor and satisfy itself with the process and eventually pronounce itself on freeness and fairness of the process.

Below are some facts and figures about the May 2014 elections:

– Namibia will go to the polls on Saturday, November 29, 2014, to participate in Presidential and National Assembly elections.

– According to the Electoral Commission of Namibia, sixteen (16) registered political parties are participating in the elections.

– More than 1.1 million voters are expected to cast their ballots in the polls.

– There will be 1,386 fixed polling stations and 2, 586 mobile polling stations throughout the country.

– On November 14, 2014, Namibia’s diplomatic missions abroad as well as seagoing personnel will vote before the main elections.

– An estimated 2500 vehicles are needed by the Electoral Commission of Namibia (ECN) during the elections.

– This election is the fifth general election since independence and the six democratic elections.

– The term of office of the president is five years and a president may seek re-election for a second five-year term.

– The two leading political parties are SWAPO led by Hifikepunye Pohamba and

Rally for Democracy and Progress (RDP) led by Hidipo Hamutenya.

– The National Assembly has 78 members, elected for a five-year term, 72 members elected by proportional representation and 6 members appointed by the president.

– The President is elected by absolute majority through universal adult franchise and the Plurality System is used for the Presidential Election.

– According to the country’s constitution, the underlining condition for any candidate to win the Presidential race is that, he or she must obtain more than 50% of valid votes cast. Where no candidate received this minimum number of votes, presidential runoff elections is held until one of the candidates obtains more than 50% of all valid votes cast.

– The ruling South West Africa People’s Organization (SWAPO) has been in power since independence in 1990.

– In the National Assembly elections, voters vote for a political party and not an individual candidate. In the end, the political party with the most votes gets the most seats. The sharing of seats in the National Assembly is governed by Schedule 4 of the Constitution.

– The population in 2014 is about 2,305,632, Female population slightly outnumbers the male population, but the division is nearly 50-50 female population is more, with 1,185,092 women, representing 51.45% of the total, compared to 1,118,223 or 48.54% men.

Source : African Elections Project