Namibia First In Africa To Roll Out Electronic Voting

Written by Makula Dunbar

From News 24

Namibia’s election commission says preparations for next week’s national elections are going well as the country becomes the first in Africa to use electronic voting machines.

“We will deploy 2080 teams to the 121 constitutions in the 14 regions of the country to operate 1255 fixed and 2711 mobile polling stations,” electoral body chair Notemba Tjipueja told reporters on Thursday.

There are 1 241 194 eligible voters on the final voter’s roll. Namibia has a population of 2.1 million. Parliamentary and presidential elections will take place on Friday, 28 November.

It will be the first time the country votes in one single day. During the previous five elections two days were set aside for voting, which opposition parties criticised.

“For the first time Namibia will use electronic voting machines, which were purchased from India. This will considerably shorten the counting and verification process and we expect to announce all results 24 hours after closure of polls,” Tjipueja said.

Sixteen political parties and nine presidential candidates will contest the elections. A recent electoral law amendment increased seats in parliament from 72 to 96.

According to expectations the ruling South West African Peoples Organisation (Swapo) will again comfortably win the polls. In 2009, Swapo won 74.2% of the votes, being 54 of the 72 seats.

Similarly, President Hifikepunye Pohamba won 75.2% of the votes. The second highest votes went to the new Rally for Democracy and Progress (RDP) party.

RDP was established in 2007 and received 11% (eight seats). Its presidential candidate Hidipo Hamutenya received 10.9%.

Read more at News 24