Types of Elections Held in Namibia
What is an Election
An election is a process that allows eligible members of a community to choose representatives of their choice who will hold positions of authority. The chance to decide who will govern at the different levels of governance serves as an opportunity for the public to make choices about the policies, programs and future directions of Government action
Elections also promote accountability from the elected leaders. Holding of regular, credible, free and fair elections promotes the principles of democracy.
Presidential and National Assembly Elections
In Presidential elections, the President is elected by absolute majority through universal adult franchise. The Plurality System is used for Presidential Election. The underlining condition for any candidate to win the Presidential race is that the winning candidate has to obtain more than 50% of valid votes cast. Where no candidate received this minimum number of votes, presidential runoff elections should be held until one of the candidates obtains more than 50% of all valid votes cast.
The election of members of the National Assembly is done by way of direct universal adult franchise. For this election the entire country is regarded as a single constituency. The system applied during these elections is the proportional representation electoral system based on a party-list. In terms of this system, each contesting party must submit names of a list of 72 or (at least 24) nominated prospective Members of Parliament to fill number of seats available in the National Assembly. During these elections, voters thus do not vote for an individual candidate but for a political party. The political party with the most votes gets the most seats. The distribution of seats in the National Assembly is governed by Schedule 4 of the Constitution.
Regional Council Elections
Regional Councils are responsible for the development and administration of the region. Every Council must strive to promote development in the region to improve the living conditions of its residents. Their tasks include, for example, the establishment of industrial areas to create job opportunities and the provision of water, electricity and transport services.
During the election, voters will vote for the candidate they believe will administer their constituency most capably and effectively. During the first sitting of the Regional Council, the members will elect two Councillors to represent the region in the National Council.
Voters can only vote in the constituency in which they are registered. The blue side of your voter’s card will be used to enable you to vote during this election. You cannot vote if you do not have this card. At the polling booth you will be issued with a ballot paper containing the names of the candidates. Make your “x” in the box indicated next to the name of the candidate of your choice. The candidate who receives the most votes per constituency will be elected to the Regional Council.
Local Authority Elections
Local authority councils include all municipalities, town councils and village councils. These councils are tasked with managing and maintaining the area for which they are established and which they represent. Their tasks include, for example, the provision of water and waste removal.
During the Local Authority election, you will vote for the political party of your choice. This party will appoint its representatives to the local authority on the proportional list system.
You can only vote in the election if you have lived in the jurisdiction of the local authority for more than one year. Ensure that you have registered during the Second General Voters Registration and that you have a new voter’s card. Take this card with you to the polling booth in your area, the yellow side of the card will be used to prove that you may vote in the election. You will be issued a ballot paper containing the names, abbreviations and symbols of the political parties participating in the election. Make your “x” in the box indicated next to the name of the party of your choice. The party will receive seats in proportion to the number of votes it received.