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Politics of Namibia takes place in a framework of a semi-presidential representative democratic republic, whereby the President of Namibia is both head of state and head of government,and of a pluriform multi-party system. Executive power is exercised by both the president and the government. Legislative power is vested in the two chambers of Parliament. The judiciary is independent of the executive and the legislature.
Additional to the government political structure Namibia has a network of traditional leadership with currently 51 recognised traditional authorities and their leaders. These authorities cover the entire Namibian territory. Traditional leaders are entrusted with the allocation of communal land and the formulation of the traditional group's customary laws. They also take over minor judicial work.
The Economist Intelligence Unit rated Namibia a " flawed democracy " in 2021. [ needs update ]
The Constituent Assembly of Namibia produced a constitution which established a multi-party system and a bill of rights. It also limited the executive president to two five-year terms and provided for the private ownership of property. The three branches of government are subject to checks and balances, and a provision is made for judicial review. The constitution also states that Namibia should have a mixed economy, and foreign investment should be encouraged.
The constitution is noted for being one of the first to incorporate protection of the environment into its text. Namibia is a democratic but one party dominant state with the South-West Africa People's Organisation in power. Opposition parties are allowed, but are widely considered to have no real chance of gaining power.
While the ethnic-based, three-tier, South African-imposed governing authorities have been dissolved, the current government pledged for the sake of national reconciliation to retain civil servants employed during the colonial period. The government is still organising itself on both national and regional levels.
The Constituent Assembly converted itself into the National Assembly on 16 February 1990, retaining all the members elected on a straight party ticket.
The Namibian head of state is the president, elected by popular vote every five years. Namibia's founding president is Sam Nujoma, who was in office for three terms from 21 March 1990 (Namibia's Independence Day) until 21 March 2005. Hifikepunye Pohamba was Namibia's second president serving from 2005 to 2015. Since 2015 Hage Geingob has been president of Namibia.
While the separation of powers is enshrined in the country's constitution, Namibia's civil society and the opposition repeatedly have criticised the overlap between executive and legislature. All cabinet members also sit in the National Assembly and dominate that body—not numerically but by being the superiors to ordinary members.
The government is headed by the prime minister, who, together with their cabinet, is appointed by the president. SWAPO, the primary force behind independence, is still the country's largest party. Hage Geingob was Namibia's first prime minister. He was appointed on 21 March 1990 and served until 28 August 2002. Theo-Ben Gurirab was prime minister from 28 August 2002 to 21 March 2005, and Nahas Angula occupied this position from 21 March 2005 to 4 December 2012. He was succeeded by Hage Geingob, who in turn was succeeded as prime minister by Saara Kuugongelwa when he became president of Namibia on 21 March 2015.
Parliament has two chambers, consisting of a National Assembly (lower house), elected for a five-year term, and a National Council (upper house), elected for a six-year term. The Assembly is the primary legislative body, with the Council playing more of an advisory role.
From Namibian independence until 2014 the National Assembly consisted of 78 members, 72 members elected by proportional representation and 6 members appointed by the president. The National Council had 26 representatives of the Regional Councils. Every Regional Council in the 13 regions of Namibia elected two representatives to serve on this body.Prior to the 2014 general elections the constitution was amended. Since then there are 104 seats in the National Assembly (96 elected, 8 appointed), and 42 seats in the National Council (3 from each region, with the number of regions increased to 14).
The highest judicial body is the Supreme Court, whose judges are appointed by the president on the recommendation of the Judicial Service Commission. The judicial structure in Namibia parallels that of South Africa. In 1919, Roman-Dutch law was declared the common law of the territory and remains so to the present.
Elections were held in 1992, to elect members of 13 newly established Regional Councils, as well as new municipal officials. Two members from each Regional Council serve simultaneously as members of the National Council, the country's second house of Parliament. Nineteen of its members are from the ruling SWAPO party, and seven are from the Democratic Turnhalle Alliance (DTA). In December 1994, elections were held for the President and the National Assembly.
Namibia has about 40 political groups, ranging from modern political parties to traditional groups based on tribal authority. Some represent single tribes or ethnic groups while others encompass several. Most participate in political alliances, some of which are multiracial, with frequently shifting membership.
SWAPO is the ruling party, and all but one of the new government's first cabinet posts went to SWAPO members. A marxist-oriented movement, SWAPO has become more right wing and now espouses the need for a mixed economy. SWAPO has been a legal political party since its formation and was cautiously active in Namibia, although before implementation of the UN Plan, it was forbidden to hold meetings of more than 20 people, and its leadership was subject to frequent detention. In December 1976, the UN General Assembly recognised SWAPO as "the sole and authentic representative of the Namibian people," a characterisation other internal parties did not accept.
In the 1999 presidential and parliamentary elections, SWAPO continued its history of political dominance, taking 55 of the 72 Assembly seats, and returning President Sam Nujoma to the office for his third term. The principal opposition parties are the Congress of Democrats (CoD) and the Democratic Turnhalle Alliance (DTA), with each possessing seven seats in the National Assembly.
In 2019 Hage Geingob won the presidential election and received a second term as president. His percentage of votes gained, however, dropped significantly from 87% in 2014 to 56% in 2019. While rural areas predominantly supported Geingob, many urban centres voted for the independent candidate, Panduleni Itula, who received 29% of the overall votes. No other candidate achieved a two-digit result. SWAPO, yet again, won a majority of seats in the National Assembly, but closely missed the threshold for a two-thirds majority, which it held since 1994. Consequently, opposition parties also gained seats, most prominently the Popular Democratic Movement (PDM), formerly the Democratic Turnhalle Alliance (DTA), which obtained 16 seats in the National Assembly.The PDM's 16.60% vote share is its best electoral performance since the 1994 election.
|McHenry Venaani||Popular Democratic Movement||43,959||5.3|
|Bernadus Swartbooi||Landless People's Movement||22,542||2.7|
|Apius Auchab||United Democratic Front||22,115||2.7|
|Esther Muinjangue||National Unity Democratic Organisation||12,039||1.5|
|Henk Mudge||Republican Party||4,379||0.5|
|Mike Kavekotora||Rally for Democracy and Progress||3,515||0.4|
|Ignatius Shixwameni||All People's Party||3,304||0.4|
|Jan Mukwilongo||Namibian Economic Freedom Fighters||1,026||0.1|
|Popular Democratic Movement||136,576||16.65||16||+11|
|Landless People's Movement||38,956||4.75||4||New|
|National Unity Democratic Organisation||16,066||1.96||2||0|
|All People's Party||14,664||1.79||2||0|
|United Democratic Front||14,644||1.79||2||0|
|Namibian Economic Freedom Fighters||13,580||1.66||2||+2|
|Rally for Democracy and Progress||8,953||1.09||1||–2|
|Christian Democratic Voice||5,841||0.71||1||+1|
|Congress of Democrats||4,645||0.57||0||0|
|National Democratic Party||4,559||0.56||0||0|
|Workers Revolutionary Party||3,212||0.39||0||–2|
|National Patriotic Front||1,785||0.22||0||New|
Namibian government has so far recognised 51 traditional authorities, and a further 40 applications are pending. These institutions are based on ethnicity and headed by the traditional leader of that ethnic group or clan. These positions are not paid by the state. Instead the traditional group's members are expected to sustain their leadership. Government did, however, give one car each to the recognised authorities, and awards allowances for fuel and administrative work. The parallel existence of traditional authorities and the Namibian government in Namibia is controversial.
Namibia is divided into 14 regions: Zambezi, Erongo, Hardap, ǁKaras, Kavango East, Kavango West, Khomas, Kunene, Ohangwena, Omaheke, Omusati, Oshana, Oshikoto, and Otjozondjupa.
Namibia is member of ACP, AfDB, C, ECA, FAO, G-77, IAEA, IBRD, ICAO, ICCt, ICFTU, ICRM, IFAD, IFC, IFRCS, ILO, IMF, IMO, Interpol, IOC, IOM (observer), ISO (correspondent), ITU, NAM, OAU, OPCW, SACU, SADC, UN, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNHCR, UNIDO, UNMEE, UPU, WCL, WHO, WIPO, WMO, WToO, WTrO
Grootfontein is a city of 23,793 inhabitants in the Otjozondjupa Region of central Namibia. It is one of the three towns in the Otavi Triangle, situated on the B8 national road that leads from Otavi to the Caprivi Strip.
Elections in Namibia determine who holds public political offices in the country. Namibia is a semi-presidential representative democratic republic. It runs direct elections every five years for the position of the president and seats in the National Assembly, and every six years for the Regional Councils and the distribution of seats in local authorities. The National Council is elected indirectly by the constituency councillors of Namibia's 14 regions.
The Popular Democratic Movement (PDM), formerly the Democratic Turnhalle Alliance (DTA), is an amalgamation of political parties in Namibia, registered as one singular party for representation purposes. In coalition with the United Democratic Front, it formed the official opposition in Parliament until the parliamentary elections in 2009. The party currently holds 16 seats in the Namibian National Assembly and one seat in the Namibian National Council and is the official opposition. McHenry Venaani is president of the PDM.
The National Unity Democratic Organisation (NUDO) is a political party in Namibia. It has been represented in the National Assembly of Namibia and in the National Council of Namibia since it split from the Democratic Turnhalle Alliance prior to the 2004 general and local elections. The party's president is Esther Muinjangue.
The Republican Party is a political party in Namibia. It is based among the white minority. Henk Mudge was its President and its sole representative in the National Assembly. Prior to the 2004 parliamentary election, the Republican Party was part of the Democratic Turnhalle Alliance (DTA). It was revived as an independent party in 2003, and won 1.9% of popular votes and 1 National Assembly seat.
Hage Gottfried Geingob is a Namibian politician, serving as the third President of Namibia since 21 March 2015. Geingob was the first Prime Minister of Namibia from 1990 to 2002, and served as prime minister again from 2012 to 2015. Between 2008 and 2012 Geingob served as Minister of Trade and Industry. He is also the current president of the ruling SWAPO Party since his election to the position in November 2017.
Jerry Lukiiko Ekandjo is a Namibian politician, former anti-apartheid activist and political prisoner. He is one of the founding members of the SWAPO Youth League and has been one of the most active internal leading members of the South West Africa People's Organization (SWAPO) during the liberation struggle. He spent eight years in prison on Robben Island after being charged for inciting violence in 1973. Ekandjo has been a member of the Cabinet of Namibia from independence in 1990 until 2018, serving the SWAPO government in various ministerial positions. His last appointment was Minister of Youth and Sport since 2012, from which he was recalled in early 2018. Previously he was Deputy Minister of Local Government and Housing from 1990 to 1995, Minister of Home Affairs from 1995 to 2005, Minister of Lands and Resettlement from 2005 to 2008, and Minister of Regional and Local Government, Housing and Rural Development from 2008 to 2012.
General elections were held in Namibia on 30 November and 1 December 1999 to elect a president and the National Assembly. Voting took place over two days, after the Commission was persuaded by protests from political parties that a single polling day would be insufficient to accommodate travel to polling stations by voters in remote areas.
Pendukeni Iivula-Ithana is a Namibian politician who served as the Secretary-General of the South-West Africa People's Organization (SWAPO) from 2007 to 2012. She was also Minister of Justice from 2005 to 2012 and Minister of Home Affairs from 2012 until February 2018 when president Hage Geingob relieved her off her duties in a cabinet reshuffle.
The Transitional Government of National Unity (TGNU), also commonly called the Interim Government, was the interim government of South-West Africa (Namibia) from June 1985 to February 1989.
Henry Ferdinand Mudge is a Namibian politician and President of the Republican Party. He was the party's only member of the National Assembly of Namibia from 2004 to 2011, when he resigned.
The Turnhalle Constitutional Conference was a controversial conference held in Windhoek between 1975 and 1977, tasked with the development of a constitution for a self-governed Namibia under South African control. Sponsored by the South African government, the Turnhalle Conference laid the framework for the government of South West Africa from 1977 to independence in 1989.
McHenry Venaani is a Namibian politician and the president of the Popular Democratic Movement, a party with sixteen seats in the National Assembly of Namibia and one seat in the National Council of Namibia. Venaani has been a member of the National Assembly from 2002 to 2010, in 2014, and since 2015. At the time of his appointment in 2002, he was Namibia's youngest MP.
Mukwe is a constituency in the Kavango East region of Namibia. The district centre is the settlement of Mukwe. It had a population of 27,690 in 2011, up from 27,250 in 2001. The constituency contains the major settlements of Bagani, Kangongo and Divundu, and a number of small populated places such as Andara and Diyogha. As of 2020 the constituency had 16,678 registered voters.
Mashare is a constituency in the Kavango East region of northern Namibia. The district centre is the settlement of Mashare. It had a population of 15,688 in 2011, down from 16,007 in 2001. As of 2020 the constituency had 9,165 registered voters.
General elections were held in Namibia on 28 November 2014, although early voting took place in foreign polling stations and for seagoing personnel on 14 November. The elections were the first on the African continent to use electronic voting.
Opuwo Rural is an electoral constituency in the Kunene Region of Namibia. The administrative centre of Opuwo Rural is the settlement of Otuani. As of 2020, it has 7,315 registered voters.
General elections were held in Namibia on 27 November 2019. Ballots were cast using electronic voting. A total of eleven candidates ran for the presidency and fifteen political parties contested the National Assembly elections.
Esther Utjiua Muinjangue is a Namibian politician and the president of the National Unity Democratic Organisation (NUDO), a party with two seats in the National Assembly of Namibia and one seat in the National Council of Namibia. She is the first woman to lead a political movement in Namibia, and the country's first female presidential candidate. She was appointed the country's deputy minister of health and social services in March 2020 by Namibian president Hage Geingob.
Of the contemporary cases, only four provide the assembly majority an unrestricted right to vote no confidence, and of these, only two allow the president unrestricted authority to appoint the prime minister. These two, Mozambique and Namibia, as well as the Weimar Republic, thus resemble most closely the structure of authority depicted in the right panel of Figure 3, whereby the dual accountability of the cabinet to both the president and the assembly is maximized. (...) Namibia allows the president to dissolve [the assembly] at any time but places a novel negative incentive on his exercise of the right: He must stand for a new election at the same time as the new assembly elections.