Namibians Head to the Polls to Cast Their Votes in the National Elections
At least 1.3 million Namibians have registered to vote in today's presidential and parliamentary elections.
Voting polls across Namibia are officially open as the country carries out its presidential and parliamentary elections. According to Aljazeera, at least 1.3 million Namibians have registered to vote in today's national elections which see 11 candidates competing for the presidency and 15 political parties vying for seats in parliament.
President Hage Geingob, of the ruling South West African People's Organisation (SWAPO), is seeking to be re-elected for a second term. Unlike other liberation movements which have since becoming governments following democratic elections in Sub-Saharan Africa, SWAPO has managed to consistently maintain its support since Namibia's independence from Germany according to Henning Melber of News24. However, following economic woes and a corruption scandal that rocked the country's key fishing industry, unemployed youth especially have now turned their attention to former SWAPO member, Panduleni Itula, who is running as an independent candidate.
Esther Muinjangue, on the other, is the first woman in Namibia's history to run for president. The leader of the opposition party National Unity Democratic Organisation (NUDO), Muinjangue says that she wants to "restore dignity" to the 2.45 million Namibian citizens. She adds that, "You hear a lot of people complaining about the (ruling) SWAPO-led government. There was apathy among the youth but now you see at every rally...more and more young people coming on board."
Other opposition parties vying for seats in parliament include the Popular Democratic Movement and the relatively new Landless People's Movement. Aside from unemployment and poverty, several other issues which voters want to be urgently addressed include drought, education, water supply and corruption. The Namibian reports that the US embassy was selected as the official observer of the elections to ensure transparency and credibility.