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Runner-up in Namibia presidential race challenges poll outcome

Runner-up in Namibia presidential race challenges poll outcome


Namibian independent presidential candidate Panduleni Itula has lodged a legal challenge to his loss in last month’s elections.

Itula has urged Namibia’s Supreme Court to order a re-run of the elections as soon as possible, charging that they were unfair.

In his 126-page affidavit, Itula alleged gross irregularities with the electronic voting machines used during the polls. The Supreme Court has not yet set a date to hear Itula’s case.

President Hage Geingob of the ruling SWAPO party is to be sworn in to a new term on March 21, after winning re-election to a second five-year term in the Nov. 27 elections.

His support dropped from the 87% he garnered in 2014 to 56%, amid public frustration over graft scandals and unemployment. Itula, who also a SWAPO member, won 30% of the vote.

The ruling SWAPO party has been shaken by corruption allegations linked to fishing quotas that brought two cabinet ministers to resign. SWAPO, in power since independence from South Africa in 1990, lost its strategic two-thirds majority in parliament, dropping from 77 seats to 63 seats.

Namibia is a resource-rich southern African nation with a population of 2.4 million people. Some 1.3 million voters were registered for election and turnout was 60%.


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