n Journal of African Elections - Multiparty democracy and elections in Namibia

Volume 4, Issue 1
  • ISSN : 1609-4700



This paper examines the most recent round of elections in Namibia - those held in 2004. For those elections the Electoral Commission of Namibia (ECN) succeeded in reregistering almost one million voters, conducting by-elections, administering local, regional, national and presidential elections, as well as providing voter education at national and grassroots community levels. Of course the ECN did not complete these endeavours alone: the democratic process in Namibia is a cooperative (and sometimes competitive) effort between government, donors, non-governmental organisations (NGOs), civil society and political parties. In 2004 11 political parties were registered with the ECN - a high number for a country with only 977 742 registered voters. The major issues in the 2004 election were economic growth, poverty, unemployment, land reform, agriculture, infrastructure, the eradication of corruption, education, health care, social welfare, gender equality, good governance, moral values and HIV / AIDS. With all parties focusing on the same issues and in the absence of viable policy alternatives, ethnicity, liberation struggle credentials and individual personalities within and between parties play a role in voting decisions.

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