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Young voters in Kavango West frustrated: Political analysts

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The low voter turnout in the Regional Council and Local Authority elections in the Kavango West Region is a symbol of frustration and loss of hope in politicians, local analysts have said. In 2015, 49 607 people were registered to […]

The low voter turnout in the Regional Council and Local Authority elections in the Kavango West Region is a symbol of frustration and loss of hope in politicians, local analysts have said.

In 2015, 49 607 people were registered to vote in the Kavango West Region as opposed to the 23 804 registered to vote in 2020. A total of 22 599 votes were cast in 2015 while only 7 280 votes were cast in 2020, representing a major decrease.

Director of the International University of Management Nkurenkuru Campus in Kavango West, Dr Naftal Ngalangi, said the low turnout could have been caused by frustration, especially amongst the youth.

In an interview with Nampa on Friday, Ngalangi said as much as elections are the voter’s right to exercise their democratic rights to elect leaders of their choice, low turnout indicates that voters are frustrated and they have lost hope in politicians.

“Our population is growing and it does not decline and yet the registered voters were higher in 2015. The same councillors were voted in by 4 354 voters in 2015 and it’s now a thousand less this year,” said Ngalangi, noting that such occurrences demonstrate the lack of confidence the electorate has in the candidates.

Ngalangi was referring to the ruling party’s candidate in the Mpungu Constituency, Titus Shiudifonya who scored 4 353 votes in 2015 compared to the 3 163 votes received this year.

On poor performance by the opposition, he said opposition parties should start fielding the right candidates and their existence should be longer than the election period.

Dr Gerson Sindano, an English lecturer at the University of Namibia Rundu campus with an interest in politics, with regards to why young people are not voting, said they do not care about the liberation struggle.

“What the youth want is going forward, such as an increase in economic activities and access to tertiary institutions and health services. They don’t care about what happened in the past and they are more future-oriented than the older generation,” said Sindano.

With regards to the disastrous performance by the opposition here, Sindano said parties should start using the right message and start reaching out to rural communities because areas like Kavango West is 99 per cent rural.

The Swapo Party took all eight constituencies and seven seats in the Nkurenkuru local authority area.

Source: Namibia Press Agency

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