By Graham Hopwood
Ever since Namibia’s first post-independence elections in 1994, it has never been difficult to predict the outcome. Even with a lack of opinion polling, it has always been clear that the ruling SWAPO party would win a comfortable two-thirds majority in the National Assembly and that its presidential candidate would perform at a similar level.
Even as other former liberation movements have lost ground in South Africa, Mozambique and Angola, SWAPO has retained its popularity. In 2014, it reached a likely high-water mark of 80%. Its presidential nominee Hage Geingob garnered a remarkable 87%.
Five years later, however, a stumbling economy, a surprise presidential candidate, and a major corruption scandal have combined to make these elections Namibia’s most competitive yet. SWAPO still looks nailed on to win the National Assembly – and probably retain its two-thirds majority – but President Geingob may be punished in the presidential poll.
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