Swapo Starts Election With Landslide Margins

Besides Swapo’s landslide lead, results from the special elections for seagoing personnel delivered some surprises with little known parties taking lead positions ahead of older parties.

In Walvis Bay it was the Workers Revolutionary Party (WRP) that surprised observers by gaining 25 votes in the National Assembly elections, to gain third position in the race ahead of the DTA, which got 18 votes.

Newly formed Namibia Economic Freedom Fighters – a copy of the South African militant Economic Freedom Fighters – also received a fair number of votes ahead of parties such as Congress of Democrats in Walvis Bay and the All People’s Party.

The Electoral Commission of Namibia’s Director of Elections, Prof Paul Isaak, was however dissapointed with the turnout, which was lower than the number of registered voters in Walvis Bay. “At least 4 400 seafarers were expected to cast their of which 3 008 was expected for Walvis Bay, however only 1 435 cast their votes on Friday,” said Isaak.

Swapo started the 2014 National Assembly and presidential elections with landslide margins, according to the maiden election results from the special elections for seagoing personnel on Friday in Luumlderitz and Walvis Bay.

At Walvis Bay, Swapo scooped 1 267 of the 1 342 votes for the National Assembly election, while in the presidential election, Swapo’s presidential candidate Dr Hage Geingob is leading with 1 347 votes out of the total of 1 435 votes cast.

At Luumlderitz the ruling party is leading with 326 out of the 374 votes cast in the National Assembly election, while in the presidential election Swapo’s candidate obtained 339 votes of the 374 votes for the nine participating presidential candidates.

Isaak says the elections for seafarers were conducted in a peaceful and transparent manner despite slight hiccups experienced at the polling stations. “The elections went well apart from the verification process but it was under control,” said Isaak.

In Walvis Bay polling stations closed exactly at 21h00 and about 150 voters were still queuing at the Kuisebmond Community Hall. The last voter cast his vote at 00h00 and polling officers and party representatives moved over to complete the paperwork and the verification process to release the outcome.

In Luumlderitz voters were in the queue from 06:00, ready when the polling station at the German Hostel opened at 07:15.

Returning officer Fritz Spiegel indicated that the process went well and that companies provided the names of their employees who came to vote, and he emphasized that some of the companies indicated that some of their vessels were still at sea.

Rally for Democracy and Progress (RDP) obtained votes that placed the party second in both Walvis Bay and Luumlderitz in the election race that is to climax on November 28 when the entire country goes to the polls.

The DTA presidential candidate is in third position both in Luumlderitz and Walvis Bay, but the party did not get enough votes in Walvis Bay for the National Assembly election to retain its third position in the race.

In the National Assembly election the RDP thus far gained 72 votes in Walvis Bay and 19 votes in Luumlderitz, while its presidential candidate Hidipo Hamutenya obtained 56 votes in Walvis Bay and 17 votes in Luumlderitz. DTA presidential candidate McHenry Venaani gained 11 votes in Luumlderitz and 12 votes in Walvis Bay.

Briefing the media at the end of the elections around 03h00, Isaak said Namibia made history, being the first African country to successfully use the electronic voting machine (EVM).

A 40-minute breakdown of an EVM slowed the process at the Kuisebmond Community Hall polling station. Isaak said the breakdown was caused by a voter who pressed the wrong button on the EVM.

“While casting his vote the voter pressed the red button instead of the green button on the EVM. The button got jammed in the machine and technicians had to be called in to repair the EVM. In order to avoid confusion those who already cast their National Assembly votes were kept in the hall while technicians were busy repairing the machine,” he explained.

“The verification process during voting was lengthy due to the fact that polling officers had to verify details of seafarers with the crewmember list provided by the fishing companies. Those who were not on the list could not be allowed to vote as only special provision was made for seafarers and those abroad. This also included Ministry of Fisheries and Marine Resource officials, fisheries observerss and others that works at sea and will not be in town on election day,” Isaak said.

According to Isaak, seafarers who could not cast their votes on Friday will have a chance to do so during the presidential and National Assembly elections slated for November 28.

Source : New Era