Pohamba wins Namibia election

PRES  Thabo Mbeki with his Namibian Counterpart, President Pohamba in pretoria today for Herads of state Bilateral meeting.  PIC  JACOLINE PRINSLOO.  GCIS 11/10/2007
PRES Thabo Mbeki with his Namibian Counterpart, President Pohamba in pretoria today for Herads of state Bilateral meeting. PIC  JACOLINE PRINSLOO. GCIS 11/10/2007

WINDHOEK - Namibia's ruling SWAPO party clinched its fifth straight landslide election victory in last week's presidential and parliamentary elections, in which President Hifikepunye Pohamba also trounced his rivals.

WINDHOEK - Namibia's ruling SWAPO party clinched its fifth straight landslide election victory in last week's presidential and parliamentary elections, in which President Hifikepunye Pohamba also trounced his rivals.

The Electoral Commission of Namibia (ECN) said on Friday evening Swapo won 74 percent of the vote against 11,4 percent for the newly formed Rally for Democracy and Progress (RDP).

The RDP, which was formed by former cabinet minister Hidipo Hamutenya and other former Swapo stalwarts two years ago, had been expected to make far greater inroads, but still becomes the official opposition.

The RDP has said it suspects the ECN of tampering with the results, saying the slow counting of votes from the November 27 to 28 vote made it suspicious.

The RDP and seven other opposition parties said they would institute legal action against the ECN for alleged irregularities.

"We are not going to attend the final announcement of the results, because we are not prepared to legitimise a rigged election," the party's information secretary Libolly Haufiku told the German Press Agency.

In the presidential poll, Pohamba won a little over 76percent of the vote, giving him a second five-year term. Hamutenya trailed in second place with around 10percent.

Following the result, Pohamba appealed to his rivals "to work together".

The ECN insists the counting process was done in accordance with the law and that the verification process was slow because it wanted to ensure that it published the correct results.

The former liberation movement Swapo has ruled Namibia, since independence from apartheid South Africa in 1990.

Despite rising corruption and the slow pace of development, the party is popular among many voters for maintaining peace and stability among the 13 ethnic groupings in the country. - Sapa

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