Namibian general election, 2009

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Namibian general election, 2009
2004 ←
November 27-28, 2009 → 2014

  Hifikepunye Pohamba.jpg No image.svg
Nominee Hifikepunye Pohamba Hidipo Hamutenya
Popular vote 611,241 88,640
Percentage 75.25% 10.91%

President before election

Hifikepunye Pohamba

Elected President

Hifikepunye Pohamba

Coat of arms of Namibia.svg
This article is part of a series on the
politics and government of

A presidential and parliamentary election was held on 27–28 November 2009 in Namibia. It was the fourth general election since independence and the fifth democratic election. Voting ended on 28 November and official election results, released on 4 December, showed that Hifikepunye Pohamba and his SWAPO Party were re-elected, each with over 75% of the vote.[1] Prior to the election, the South West Africa People's Organization (SWAPO) was widely expected to score a landslide victory, with the Rally for Democracy and Progress (RDP) considered SWAPO's biggest challenger. Fourteen political parties competed for seats in the National Assembly of Namibia, and twelve candidates ran for the Presidency.[2]



The ruling SWAPO party set a goal of winning all 72 seats in the National Assembly and controlling the NA "until the second coming of Jesus Christ".[3] At the SWAPO party congress in November 2007, current President Hifikepunye Pohamba was elected President of SWAPO and also received the party's nomination for President in 2009.[4] SWAPO ended up winning 54 seats, a one-seat loss from the third National Assembly.


This was the first general election for the Rally for Democracy and Progress. The party's nominee for President was Hidipo Hamutenya, a former government minister of SWAPO. The RDP was considered the main opposition to the ruling SWAPO.[2] It gained eight seats in the National Assembly and became the Official Opposition.


On 16 October 2009, the National Unity Democratic Organisation (NUDO) was the first political party to officially submit their candidate, Kuaima Riruako, for President.[5]


The National Society for Human Rights' observer status was withdrawn by the electoral commission, which said it was "not impartial".[6] The organisation said it would approach the High Court to contest the decision;[7] the court later ordered the commission to reinstate the organisation.[8]


Though the country planned to buy electronic voting machines from India sometime in 2009, the Electoral Commission assured the National Assembly that they would not be used in the 2009 elections.[9]


Hifikepunye Pohamba was re-elected as President of Namibia with 611,241 votes, more than six times as many as Hamutenya, his nearest rival, received.[10]

e • d Summary of the 27-28 November 2009 Namibian presidential election results[11]
Candidate Party Votes %
Hifikepunye Pohamba SWAPO 611,241 75.25
Hidipo Hamutenya RDP 88,640 10.91
Katuutire Kaura Democratic Turnhalle Alliance 24,186 2.98
Kuaima Riruako NUDO 23,735 2.92
Justus ǁGaroëb United Democratic Front 19,258 2.37
Ignatius Shixwameni All People's Party 9,981 1.23
Henry Mudge Republican Party 9,425 1.16
Benjamin Ulenga Congress of Democrats 5,812 0.72
Usutuaije Maamberua SWANU 2,968 0.37
David Isaacs Democratic Party of Namibia 1,859 0.23
Frans Goagoseb Namibian Democratic Movement for Change 1,760 0.22
Attie Beukes Communist Party of Namibia 1,005 0.12
Rejected ballots 12,363 1.52
Total (turnout ) 812,233 100.00
e • d Summary of the 27 and 28 November 2009 National Assembly of Namibia election results
Parties Votes % Seats +/–
South West Africa People's Organization 602,580 74.29 54 Decrease1
Rally for Democracy and Progress 90,556 11.16 8 Increase8
Democratic Turnhalle Alliance 25,393 3.13 2 Decrease2
National Unity Democratic Organization 24,422 3.01 2 Decrease1
United Democratic Front 19,489 2.40 2 Decrease1
All People’s Party 10,795 1.33 1 Increase1
Republican Party 6,541 0.81 1
Congress of Democrats 5,375 0.66 1 Decrease4
South West Africa National Union 4,989 0.62 1 Increase1
Monitor Action Group 4,718 0.58 0 Decrease1
Democratic Party of Namibia 1,942 0.24 0
Namibian Democratic Movement for Change 1,770 0.22 0
National Democratic Party 1,187 0.15 0
Communist Party of Namibia 810 0.10 0
Appointed members
Valid votes 800,567 98.70
Invalid votes 10,576 1.30
Total (turnout %) 811,143 100.0 72
Source: Electoral Commission of Namibia

Delay controversy[edit]

Final results were announced on 4 December, the longest delay between voting and the publication of results of any Namibian election (6 days).[12] The Electoral Commission of Namibia (ECN) blamed the delay on a recent amendment to the Electoral Act which had caused "logistical nightmares [they had] never experienced before" and a "cumbersome" verification process.[12] The ECN had received criticism from political parties, civil societies and the general public for the delay. Following publication of the results, 8 of the 13 opposition parties stated that they did not accept the results and were instructing their lawyers to challenge the ECN in court "for contravening the electoral law of the country".[12][13] Electoral observers have pronounced the polls to be free and fair but recommended that the ECN speed up the counting process and free up access to the media for all parties.[13]

Accuracy controversy[edit]

The accuracy of the results of this election has been questioned, not only by the defeated opposition parties but also by the Namibian Society of Human Rights (NSHR). The voters roll was the main subject of contention, having contained 1 181 835 entries at the time of first publication six weeks prior to the election but shrinking to 820 305 entries within a matter of days.[14] Also the voter turnout has been questioned as there were a number of constituencies that had a turnout of over 100%, on top of the list Windhoek East with 191%, Okatyali with 189%, and Ohangwena with 175%. Further "minor" concerns were people being allowed to vote on behalf of someone else, voters asked to disclose their political affiliation at polling stations, and people allowed to vote twice.[14]


  1. ^ Namibia president re-elected: official results AFP, 4 December 2009
  2. ^ a b Large Victory Likely for Namibia Governing Party New York Times, 28 November 2009
  3. ^ Vote SWAPO Party, Vote Pohamba for President SWAPO Party official website
  4. ^ Namibia: Pohamba for 2009 polls. News
  5. ^ Nudo submits Presidential candidate New Era, 16 October 2009
  6. ^ Namibia hit by legal rows ahead of elections. BBC News. November 26, 2009.
  7. ^ Maletsky, Christof (November 26, 2009). Poll ban heads to court. The Namibian.
  8. ^ Namibian High Court says rights body can observe elections. Afrique en ligne. November 27, 2009.
  9. ^ Local, regional council elections shifted to 2010. The Namibian, 13 March 2009
  10. ^ "Incumbent wins big in Namibian presidential vote". Associated press. 6 December 2009. Retrieved 7 December 2009. 
  11. ^ 27 - 28 Nov 2009 Presidential Elections.pdf Electoral Commission of Namibia
  12. ^ a b c Nyanagove, Patience (3 December 2009). "Expect full election results tomorrow – ECN". Informanté. Retrieved 7 December 2009. 
  13. ^ a b "Namibia president re-elected: official results". AFP. 4 December. Retrieved 7 December 2009.  Check date values in: |date= (help)
  14. ^ a b Menges, Werner (17 December 2009). "Parties file election case". The Namibian. Retrieved 17 December 2009. 

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