Voting began Friday in Namibia’s presidential and legislative elections, in an election that is expected to see the ruling SWAPO party retain power in the country it has run since independence 24 years ago. Voters at Katutura township, outside the capital Windhoek, formed long lines before daybreak, including some first-time “born free” voters – those born after independence in 1990. “It’s a rich country with poor people, so I hope there is more balance,” said 43-year-old Elias while waiting to cast his vote. Although he expects the ruling South West People’s Organisation (SWAPO) to win, he wants to see a more opposition parliamentarians challenge the long-party’s 24 year grip on power. Polls opened at 7am local time and will close around 14 hours later in the latest closing stations.
Some had waited patiently in line since 4am in the cool morning air, with steaming thermoses full of coffee and tea.
The country’s fifth election since independence is billed as the first e-vote in Africa, with 1.2 million people expected to cast their ballots electronically.
After the polls opened, a few minutes after 7am, voting was initially slow, as presiding officers at Katutura rolled out the new electronic voting system. But things quickly sped up.
“Once it starts, it’s fast,” said one of the voters exiting the polling booth.
On entry to the polling station, electoral officers checked voting cards against the voters roll as well as the thumb for signs of indelible ink indicating the person has already voted.
Full Article: iafrica.com Namibia gets e-voting.