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30.11.2019 Europe

Namibia’s President Geingob set to win second term as opposition cries foul

By RFI
G. GUERCIA/AFP
NOV 30, 2019 EUROPE

Namibia's President Hage Geingob is thanking voters on Saturday as he is poised to win the highest seat in the country for a second term after the National Election Commission announced that more than 85 percent of the votes have been counted. But two opposition parties are calling fraud on Saturday.

Geingob is leading with 57 percent of the vote, a sharp downturn from the last presidential elections, where he swept the polls with 87 percent of the vote. His closest challenger, Dr Panduleni Itula has 28 percent of the vote.

Itula is a member of Geingob's SWAPO, South West Africa People's Organisation party, but ran as an independent. According to a tweet from The Namibian national paper, Itula is holding a crisis meeting to discuss the results.

Both Itula and Bernadus Swartbooi, the leader of the Landless People's Movement (LPM) have separately said this poll was fraudulent.

"Votes were being increased in favour of SWAPO and Geingob and reduced for other candidates," reportedly said Swartbooi in The Namibian.

SWAPO has ruled the country since its independence from South Africa in 1990.

The ruling party also leads in the National Assembly with 66 percent of the vote.

Delays in the counting for the presidential and parliamentary elections have frustrated Namibians. In the last elections, in 2014, it was the first time an African country used electronic voting. Provisional results were announced just one day later.

Opposition candidate Itula said that not using paper ballots had created more possibilities for fraud. He had originally tried to ban the voting machines, but his demand was thrown out by the electoral tribunal.

Some 1.3 million people registered to vote for this election, but the electoral commission said it had received less than 800,000 votes.

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