Namibia. A total of 16 parties and nine presidential candidates ran in the parliamentary and presidential elections held November 28. According to Countryaah.com, Namibia population in 2020 is estimated at 2,540,916. An electronic voting system was used for the first time in the elections. It was also the first time that elections were held on one day in all constituencies.
Before the elections, a new party was formed called the Namibian Economic Freedom Fighters (NEFF). The party was described as a direct sister party to the left-wing South African party Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF), led by Julius Malema, who made himself known for several controversial statements, including against South Africa’s white population.
During the electoral movement, the ruling South West Africa People’s Organization (SWAPO) with President Hifikepunye Pohamba at the forefront presented a gender equality initiative, which meant that half of all MPs would be women. According to topb2bwebsites, an ambition was also to present a female candidate for the 2019 presidential election. As Pohamba had already ruled during the two terms of office allowed by the Constitution, the former prime minister and SWAPO’s vice president, Hage Geingob, were elected new party leader candidates.
As expected, SWAPO became the big winner of the election and Geingob, which received almost 87% of the vote, became the one to take over the presidential post. In second place was McHenry Venaani from the opposition party Democratic Turnhalle Alliance (DTA) with 5% of the vote followed by Hidipo Hamutenya from Rally for Democracy and Progress (RDP) who got 3.4%. SWAPO got 77 seats while the opposition parties DTA and RDP received only five and three seats in parliament respectively. The African Union (AU) and the South African Cooperation Organization (SADC) which monitored the election rated it as relatively free and fair but pointed out that there were technical problems during the election day. According to Abbreviation Finder, NA stands for Namibia in English. Click to see other meanings of this 2-letter acronym.
In August, a young protester was shot to death during a demonstration held outside SWAPO’s headquarters in the capital Windhoek to pay attention to the situation of the youth whose parents participated in the South African independence war. The incident was described as unusual in Namibia, where political violence rarely occurs. However, the recent rise in youth unemployment has caused great dissatisfaction among the population, which is clearly divided into rich and poor. Youth unemployment was reported to be around 40% during the year.
Namibia achieved independence, proclaimed on March 21, 1990, at the end of a long and tormented process, which had seen it at the center of a complex international negotiation to redefine the balance of the entire region. In fact it was the progressive disengagement of the Soviet Union from Africa that paved the way for the solution of the question of Namibia, making practicable the so-called linkage theory , proposed by the United States in the early 1980s and later accepted by South Africa, which it linked the independence of the Namibia to the withdrawal of the Cuban troops present in Angola. The phase following independence was characterized by substantial stability, also due to the adoption by the SWAPO (South West Africa People’s Organization), the left nationalist movement that had led the armed struggle against South Africa and that had emerged as the winner of the first elections, of an initial policy of agreement with the opposition forces and of non-opposition towards the powerful economic groups, mainly South Africans, present in the country.
The evolution of the South African situation, thanks to the progressive dismantling of the apartheid regime, considerably improved relations between the two countries and favored a negotiated solution to the problem concerning Walvis Bay, the only port of any importance remaining under the sovereignty of South Africa, which, after a phase of joint administration, he definitively moved to Namibia in 1994. In December of the same year, the first presidential and legislative elections following independence confirmed the dominance of SWAPO, which obtained 53 seats against 15 for the Democratic Turnhalle Alliance and two for the United Democratic Front.. The success of the SWAPO was completed by the re-election to the presidency of the Republic of S. Nujoma with 76 % of the votes and reaffirmed in the subsequent presidential and legislative elections (November-December 1999), which saw Nujoma confirmed in its office and the SWAPO affirming itself widely as first party.
Despite its popularity, the government found itself operating in a difficult economic context, marked by a high rate of unemployment and considerable inequalities in the distribution of income, while growing concerns aroused the increase in cases of corruption in the public and UN reports on the role played by Namibian territory in drug trafficking routes. In August 1999 the government was also forced to declare a state of emergency in the Caprivi region, after the guerrilla actions by independentist groups had intensified. In foreign policy, Namibia Mandela’s relations with South Africa strengthened and in February 1997 Namibia’s debt to South Africa itself was canceled, while border disputes led to a worsening of relations with Botswana.