2019 Namibian general election

General elections were held in Namibia on 27 November 2019.[1] They were the second in Africa to use electronic voting.[2] A total of eleven candidates ran for the presidency and fifteen political parties contested the National Assembly elections.

2019 Namibian general election

← 2014 27 November 2019 (2019-11-27) 2024 →

1,358,468 registered voters
50%+ votes needed to win
Turnout60.4% Decrease
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Nominee Hage Geingob Panduleni Itula
Party SWAPO Independent
Popular vote 464,703 242,657
Percentage 56.3% 29.4%

President before election

Hage Geingob
SWAPO

Elected President

Hage Geingob
SWAPO

Hage Geingob of SWAPO was re-elected to the presidency, although his vote share was reduced from 87% in 2014 to 56%, their lowest vote share for a presidential election in the party's history. SWAPO also retained their majority in the National Assembly, but lost their two-thirds supermajority.[3]

Electoral systemEdit

The President of Namibia is elected using the two-round system; if no candidate receives more than 50% in the first round of voting, a run-off will be held. No previous presidential votes in Namibia have gone to a second round.[4]

The 104 members of the National Assembly consist of 96 elected members and eight (non-voting) members appointed by the President.[5] The 96 elected members are elected by closed list proportional representation from 14 multi-member constituencies based on the regions. Seats are allocated using the largest remainder method.[6]

Political partiesEdit

SWAPOEdit

SWAPO was viewed as the clear favorite going into the 2019 election, although the rise of new parties, such as the Landless People's Movement, was predicted to cause a split in the vote.[7] In 2014, the ruling SWAPO Party announced a gender equality system where half of SWAPO's seats in parliament would comprise of women. The party also embraced what it called a "zebra system", whereby if a minister was a woman, the deputy minister would be a man, and vice versa. Due to there being more male SWAPO MPs than female MPs, SWAPO put forward plans to expand parliament to remove the risk of male MPs losing their seats as a result of this gender equality policy.[8] This change, raising the number of seats from 78 to 104, was enacted in 2014, although it was officially framed as allowing for wider representation of the population.[9]

OppositionEdit

Opposition parties had the objective of removing SWAPO's two-thirds majority in the National Assembly. The Namibian Economic Freedom Fighters (NEFF) and the Republican Party (RP), both without a realistic chance in the previous elections, withdrew their presidential candidates in early November and instead endorsed the independent candidate Panduleni Itula.[10] The United Democratic Front (UDF) in turn withdrew their candidate to back McHenry Venaani, presidential candidate of the Popular Democratic Movement (PDM) and leader of the official opposition. In August 2019, the two parties signed a coalition agreement for the coming legislative period, allocating parliamentary seats 6, 13 and 18 to the UPM, and the others to PDM, in an entity to be known as the PDM-UPM coalition.[11] The Rally for Democracy and Progress (RDP) formed a coalition with the Christian Democratic Voice (CDV), both parties supported Mike Kavekotora of the RDP.[12]

CampaignEdit

Ten candidates contested the presidential elections, with Hage Geingob of SWAPO widely expected to win a second term as president.[13][14][15] For the first time, an independent candidate, Panduleni Itula, ran for president. Esther Muinjangue of the National Unity Democratic Organisation (NUDO) was the first female presidential candidate in Namibia.[16]

ResultsEdit

 
Winning candidate by constituency 2019
 Geingob
 Itula
 Venaani
 Swartbooi
 Muinjangue
 
Winning party by constituency 2019
 SWAPO
 NUDO
 PDM
 LPM

PresidentEdit

Hage Geingob won the presidential election and received a second term as president. His percentage of votes gained, however, dropped significantly from 87% in 2014 to 56% in 2019. While rural areas predominantly supported Geingob, many urban centres voted for the independent candidate, Panduleni Itula, who received 29% of the overall votes. No other candidate achieved a two-digit result.[17]

Candidate Party Votes %
Hage Geingob SWAPO 464,703 56.3
Panduleni Itula Independent 242,657 29.4
McHenry Venaani Popular Democratic Movement 43,959 5.3
Bernadus Swartbooi Landless People's Movement 22,542 2.7
Apius Auchab United Democratic Front 22,115 2.7
Esther Muinjangue National Unity Democratic Organisation 12,039 1.5
Tangeni Iiyambo SWANU 5,959 0.7
Henk Mudge Republican Party 4,379 0.5
Mike Kavekotora Rally for Democracy and Progress 3,515 0.4
Ignatius Shixwameni All People's Party 3,304 0.4
Jan Mukwilongo Namibian Economic Freedom Fighters 1,026 0.1
Invalid/blank votes 0
Total 826,198 100
Registered voters/turnout 1,358,468 60.8
Source: ECN

National AssemblyEdit

SWAPO, yet again, won a majority of seats in the National Assembly, but closely missed the threshold for a two-thirds majority, which it held since 1994. Consequently, opposition parties also gained seats, most prominently the PDM, which obtained 16 seats in the National Assembly.[17] The PDM's 16.60% vote share is its best electoral performance since the 1994 election.

Party Votes % Seats +/–
SWAPO 536,861 65.45 63 –14
Popular Democratic Movement 136,576 16.65 16 +11
Landless People's Movement 38,956 4.75 4 New
National Unity Democratic Organisation 16,066 1.96 2 0
All People's Party 14,664 1.79 2 0
United Democratic Front 14,644 1.79 2 0
Republican Party 14,546 1.77 2 +1
Namibian Economic Freedom Fighters 13,580 1.66 2 +2
Rally for Democracy and Progress 8,953 1.09 1 –2
Christian Democratic Voice 5,841 0.71 1 +1
SWANU 5,330 0.65 1 0
Congress of Democrats 4,645 0.57 0 0
National Democratic Party 4,559 0.56 0 0
Workers Revolutionary Party 3,212 0.39 0 –2
National Patriotic Front 1,785 0.22 0 New
Invalid/blank votes 0
Total 820,227 100 96
Registered voters/turnout 1,358,468 60.4
Source: ECN

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ "2019 Presidential & National Assembly Election Calendar". Electoral Commission of Namibia. Retrieved 17 November 2019.
  2. ^ "Namibia to be Africa's first to use e-voting". bdlive.co.za. 15 November 2014. Retrieved 15 November 2014.
  3. ^ Swapo's two-thirds majority broken The Namibian, 1 December 2019
  4. ^ "Namibia's Ruling Party Faces Unexpectedly Challenging Vote". The New York Times. Associated Press. 24 November 2019.
  5. ^ [https://www.lac.org.na/projects/grap/Pdf/Gov2_Three_Branches_of_Government.pdf The Three Branches of Government] Hans Seidel Foundation
  6. ^ Electoral system IPU
  7. ^ Expect more promises in 2019: Kamwanyah Lela, 23 January 2019
  8. ^ Namibia's 'zebra' politics could make it stand out from the global herd The Guardian, 8 July 2014
  9. ^ Iikela, Sakeus (24 August 2017). "Where is the opposition ... when Swapo is fighting itself?". The Namibian. pp. 6–7.
  10. ^ Nembwaya, Hileni (7 November 2019). "NEFF and RP throw weight behind Itula". The Namibian. p. 1.
  11. ^ Klukowski, Steven (24 October 2019). "PDM-UPM coalition to challenge Swapo". New Era.
  12. ^ "RDP, Christian Democratic Voice form coalition". The Namibian. Namibia Press Agency. 6 September 2019. p. 3.
  13. ^ Melber, Henning (26 November 2019). "Namibian elections: The sands are shifting – slowly". Mail & Guardian.
  14. ^ "Poll Fever: Spain, Sri Lanka, Romania and Namibia Will be Joining Britain in Holding Elections". Sputnik. 29 October 2019.
  15. ^ "After the victory, comes the battle". Windhoek Observer. 22 October 2019.
  16. ^ Ngwawi, Joseph (21 November 2019). "Letters to the Editor: All set for Namibian elections". The Chronicle.
  17. ^ a b Iikela, Sakeus (2 December 2019). "Reduced victory ... Swapo, Geingob drop votes". The Namibian. p. 1.