After days of counting, Hage Geingob has officially emerged as the country’s president-elect, marking a remarkable comeback from the political wilderness he was consigned to in 2002.
Geingob, who described his huge win as the “will of God”, garnered a massive 772 528 out of the 890 738 votes cast on Friday.
Swapo received a total of 715 026 out of the 893 643 votes cast in the National Assembly elections, giving the party 77 seats, while the opposition could only muster a combined 19.
The DTA were confirmed last night as the country’s new official opposition after receiving 42 933 votes and five seats, while the Rally for Democracy and Progress (RDP) slumped to third place after receiving 31 372 votes, which translated into three seats.
The DTA’s presidential candidate finished a distant second to Geingob, while the RDP’s Hidipo Hamutenya came third in the presidential race.
Geingob said it was the “will of God” that so many people – young and old – had come out to vote overwhelmingly for him.
He described the presidency as a heavy responsibility, which “I cannot carry out alone.” He said he would depend on Pohamba, from whom he takes over in March next year.
“Let’s hold hands. I will be a president of all the Namibian people. No Namibian must feel left out,” he said.
He also commended the ECN for a job well done.
Geingob thanked his opponents for running peaceful poll campaigns, and for respecting one another.
“It should be that way.”
Pohamba said democracy is alive and healthy in Namibia.
“Our country now has a president-elect and members of parliament-elect, who are waiting to be sworn in to serve our country and her people. We congratulate the entire nation on the successful holding of free and democratic elections. This is a demonstration that multi-party democracy has grown deep roots in our country as our chosen system of governance,” he said.
Pohamba also thanked the election observers who have been in Namibia for the past few weeks, as well as the media for a commendable job of reporting and informing the people about the election process.
He also congratulated Geingob.
“Respect and honour the voice of the people. The nation has spoken.”
He said the election campaign had been intense and demanding.
He said different parties had criss-crossed the country to share their message with voters and mobilise them to vote.
He said Namibia’s “credible, free and fair elections” had also been confirmed by international observers around the world.
Venaani posed for pictures with Geingob and promised to keep him on his toes.
Political analyst Dr Kaire Mbuende said many opposition voters had known that their presidential candidates did not stand a chance, and opted to vote for the Swapo candidate.
“The presidency is a unifying position. There are more people who have confidence in Geingob, even if they have issues with Swapo,” he said.
Mbuende said when Geingob steps into State House he knows he will have to deal with issues of national interest.
According to another analyst Victor Tonchi some voters may not be sympathetic to a political party, but will vote for its presidential candidate. “This is not the first time it has happened.”
He said this puts some pressure on Geingob, who has to ensure that the interests of the general public are taken care of and not necessarily that of Swapo.
“His popularity should strengthen his position in the party. If a person is popular it also strengthens the party.”
Dr Omu Kakujaha-Matundu said voters often do not want to cast their ballots for someone who is going to lose the Presidential elections.
He said some of the other political parties also did not field a presidential candidate
“They (voters) would rather vote for their own political party for the National Assembly elections and then vote for a more popular presidential candidate.”
Kakujaha-Matundu said Geingob has always been a popular person.
“He has to be the president of all. The MPs of Swapo are going to bulldoze the weak opposition in Parliament if the Bills are not in their favour.”
WINDHOEK ELVIS MURARANGANDA AND ELLANIE SMIT