United Democratic Front (Namibia)

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United Democratic Front
LeaderJustus ǁGaroëb (former leader)
Khomas Region
IdeologyDamara minority politics
Colours               Blue, White and Green
Seats in the National Assembly
2 / 104
Seats in the National Council
0 / 42
Regional Councillors
1 / 121
Local Councillors
21 / 378
Pan-African Parliament
0 / 5

The United Democratic Front (UDF) is a political party in Namibia. Justus ǁGaroëb was the party's leader since its foundation in 1989 until 2013, when he stepped down as leader of the party.


The United Democratic Front is a political party that is most widely supported by Damara people. Its roots are in the Damara Council, an administrative body for the Damaraland territory in South West Africa that in 1980 became a political party. The Damara Council in 1989 joined other parties in order to participate in the first democratic elections in Namibia. The result of the merger was the United Democratic Front (UDF).[1]

The founding members of the UDF were Justus ǁGaroëb, leader of the Damara Council, and Reggie Diergaardt, leader of the Labour Party. On 20 July 1989 the Patriotic Unity Movement joined the UDF.[2]

The UDF formed an alliance with a number of splinter parties prior to the 1989 election:[2][3]

Election results[edit]


The UDF received 37,874 votes (5.65%) in the 1989 election, which elected members to the Constituent Assembly of Namibia. The Constituent Assembly elected the first President and wrote Namibia's constitution. From the UDF, President Justus ǁGaroëb, Reggie Diergaardt, Eric Biwa and Theophelus Soroseb were chosen for the assembly.[citation needed]


The UDF won one seat in the 1992 elections for the National Council of Namibia.


In 1994, electoral support for the party diminished in both relative and total support. The party received 13,309 total votes (2.72% of the national vote). Two UDF members were elected to the National Assembly (ǁGaroëb and Biwa).[4]


The party retained its single seat in the National Council in 1998.[5]


Following the 1999 parliamentary election, the UDF formed a coalition with the Democratic Turnhalle Alliance (DTA) so that the two parties could together be the official opposition despite the Congress of Democrats receiving the second highest number of votes.


In the parliamentary election held on November 15 and 16, 2004, the party won 3.5% of popular votes and 3 out of 78 seats 1. More than half (16,081 of 29,336 total votes) of the party's electoral support came from Khomas Region, Kunene Region and Otjozondjupa Region, with the single largest total coming from Kunene.[6] The party again retained its single seat in the National Council in 2004.[7] The UDF MPs elected in 2004 were Justus ǁGaroëb, Gustaphine Tjombe and Michael Goreseb.


In the November 2009 general election, Justus ǁGaroëb once again ran for election to Namibia's presidency with the UDF; he received 19,258 total votes, representing 2.37% of all votes and finished in fifth place. The party earned 2 seats in the National Assembly, down from 3 in 2004. The two seats went to party leader Justus ǁGaroëb and Simson Tjongarero.


  1. ^ Sasman, Catherine (11 January 2013). "UDF at crossroads". The Namibian. Archived from the original on 21 February 2013.
  2. ^ a b Dierks, Klaus. "Chronology of Namibian History, 1989". klausdierks.com. Retrieved 11 January 2013.
  3. ^ Wezi Tjaronda: Elections 2009 - UDF, the Undying Old Horse New Era via AllAfrica.com, 28 September 2009
  4. ^ 1994 election results africanelections
  5. ^ 1998 election results africanelections
  6. ^ Election Update 2004 Archived 2008-12-03 at the Wayback Machine EISA December 2004
  7. ^ 2004 National Council Election africanelections

External links[edit]