Friday, November 28, 2014

Polls Open in Namibia's General Elections
Namibians line up to vote in elections. SWAPO is expected to win.
TVC News, Lagos

Voting opened on Friday in Namibia's presidential and legislative elections, in a poll expected to see ruling SWAPO party extend its near quarter-century rule.

The South West People's Organisation (SWAPO), a former liberation movement turned governing party has kept its widespread support at the helm of one of Africa's healthiest economies.

However, there is growing dissent over persistent poverty, inequality and a housing shortage.

More than 100 protesters chanted slogans calling for land distribution in the capital last week, and the resurgent opposition Democratic Turnhalle Alliance has been attracting more supporters.

But analysts say those are unlikely to be enough to threaten SWAPO's current two-third parliamentary majority in the southern African country.

"We want to propel Namibia to greater prosperity. We want to emancipate our people from economic hardships," Prime Minister Hage Geingob, a SWAPO stalwart, told thousands of voters in the north as he campaigned to become the country's third president.

Current President Hifikepunye Pohamba can not stand again because of a constitutional two-term limit.

Voters at Katutura township, outside the capital Windhoek, formed longed lines before daybreak, including some first time "born free" voters, those born after independence in 1990.

"It's a rich country with poor people, so I hope there is more balance", said 43-year-old Elias while waiting to cast his vote.

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