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National Assembly

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Parliament name Parliament
Structure of parliament Bicameral
Chamber name National Assembly
Related chamber (for bicameral parliaments) National Council
Dates of election / renewal (from/to) (from/to)27 November 2009
28 November 2009
Purpose of elections Elections were held for all elective seats in the National Assembly on the normal expiry of the members' term of office.
On 1 September 2009, the Electoral Commission of Namibia (ECN) announced that parliamentary and presidential elections would be held on 27 and 28 November.

In the previous elections, held in November 2004, the ruling South-West Africa People's Organization (SWAPO) took 55 of the 72 directly elected seats in the National Assembly. Mr. Hifikepunye Pohamba (SWAPO) was elected President, succeeding Mr. Sam Nujoma, who had held office since the country's independence from South Africa in 1990. The Congress of Democrats (CoD) and the Democratic Turnhalle Alliance (DTA) won five and four seats respectively. The United Democratic Front (UDF) and the National Unity Democratic Organization (Nudo) took three seats each.

In November 2007, a former foreign minister, Hidipo Hamutenya, left SWAPO and formed the Rally for Democracy and Progress (RDP). He had unsuccessfully sought the SWAPO nomination for President in 2004. The RDP was considered to be one of SWAPO's biggest challengers in the 2009 elections, in which fourteen parties ran.

As a result of the global economic crisis, demand for Namibia's principal export, diamonds, dropped sharply. The country's economy nevertheless remained relatively robust.

Prior to the 2009 elections, SWAPO seemed to be losing ground in the wake of a number of corruption scandals. It was nevertheless expected to win a clear victory in 2009 as in previous elections. President Pohamba underscored that it was the only party that had fully implemented its party manifesto. He called on voter support so that the party would be able to win all 72 seats in the National Assembly and "govern Namibia until the second coming of Jesus Christ". He said that Mr. Hamutenya (RDP) was having serious health problems and would not be able to lift Namibia out of the economic morass.

The RDP campaigned on an anti-corruption platform. It tried to reach out to the country's young people, who are not old enough to remember the independence struggle and might therefore be less devoted to SWAPO, the former liberation movement. The RDP claimed that the voters roll contained irregularities, including duplicate voter cards, deceased persons and people under 18. The Electoral Commission refuted the claims, noting that many nations had not yet been able to obtain a perfect voter register. The RDP also claimed that the 2004 elections had been rigged. SWAPO took the RDP leader Hamutenya to court for his comments during the election campaign.

Other opposition parties in the outgoing legislature promised to tackle poverty and unemployment and to provide better education in spite of the economic downturn. They also cited irregularities during the voter registration process, arguing that a number of Angolan nationals with no proof of citizenship had been allowed to register in the northern regions. The Electoral Commission rejected the allegation.

Over 70 per cent of the 1.2 million registered voters turned out at the polls. No major incidents were reported, although logistical problems caused delays at some polling stations.

Observers from the African Union praised the peaceful voting process, describing it as one of the best in Africa. They also noted that Namibia was one of the rare African countries to allow prisoners to vote. Observers from the Southern African Development Community (SADC) also declared that the elections had been "transparent, credible, peaceful, free and fair".

The final results gave 54 seats to SWAPO, one less than in the previous elections. The RDP took eight seats. The remaining seats were won by seven other parties.

The newly elected National Assembly held its first session on 19 March 2010 and re-elected Mr. Theo-Ben Gurirab (SWAPO) as its Speaker.
Voter turnout
Round no 1 (from/to)27 November 2009
28 November 2009
Number of registered electors
Blank or invalid ballot papers
Valid votes

Distribution of votes
Round no 1
Political Group Candidates Votes %
South -West African People's Organization (SWAPO) 602'580
Rally for Democracy and Progress (RDP) 90'556
Democratic Turnhalle Alliance (DTA) 25'393
United Democratic Front of Namibia (UDF) 19'489
National Unity Democratic Organisation (Nudo) 24'422
South-West African National Union of Namibia (SWANU) 4'989
Republican Party 6'541
All People's Party (APP) 10'795
Congress of Democrats (COD) 5'375
Distribution of seats
Round no 1
Political Group Total
South -West African People's Organization (SWAPO) 54
Rally for Democracy and Progress (RDP) 8
Democratic Turnhalle Alliance (DTA) 2
United Democratic Front of Namibia (UDF) 2
National Unity Democratic Organisation (Nudo) 2
South-West African National Union of Namibia (SWANU) 1
Republican Party 1
All People's Party (APP) 1
Congress of Democrats (COD) 1
Distribution of seats according to sex
Percent of women
Distribution of seats according to age
Distribution of seats according to profession
Note on the number of women:
Sixteen women were directly elected while three others were appointed by the President.

Source: National Assembly (07.04.2010, 30.09.2010)

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