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Elections

Namibia Prime Minister Hage Geingob is new president

Prime Minister Hage Geingob has won Namibia's presidential elections by a landslide. His SWAPO party also retained its two-thirds lock on the legislature in Namibia's first e-vote.

Seventy-three-year-old Prime Minister Hage Geingob won the election with nearly 87 percent of all declared votes. The chairperson of the electoral commission, Nontemba Tipueja, announced the results: "I have the honor and privilege to declare Geingob ... duly elected as the winner."

Out of the 96 seats in Namibia's legislature, Geingob's party, SWAPO retained a two-thirds majority. The Democratic Turnhalle Alliance took over the role of the largest party in opposition by winning 4.8 percent of the votes. The Rally for Progress and Democracy, which had won more than 11 percent votes in the 2009 elections, suffered a severe loss and managed to get only 3 percent of the votes.

Despite fears of rigging, Namibia introduced electronic ballots for Friday's presidential election. The African Union hailed the vote as free and fair, but opposition parties complained that technical difficulties had caused thousands of voters to be sent back home.

SWAPO, which traces its history back to the anti-colonial and anti-apartheid struggle, has won every election ever since the country gained independence in 1990. In its 24-year rule, SWAPO has garnered support by focusing on better infrastructure and primary education and investing in railways.

As the mineral-rich country's new president, Geingob will have to tackle ethnic strife in a country of 2.3 million people who are unhappy about land distribution and housing problems, especially in the capital, Windhoek. Geingob has promised to build 185,000 new homes in the next 18 years.

mg/mkg (AFP, Reuters)

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