Election Watch

Promoting democracy in Namibia

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The Constitution and elections

Article 1 of the Constitution establishes Namibia a “sovereign, secular, democratic and unitary State founded upon the principles of democracy, and the rule of law and justice for all.”
Article 17, part of the Constitution’s Bill of Rights, states that all citizens shall have the right to take part in peaceful political activity intended to influence the composition and policies of government. All citizens also have the right to form and join political parties. Every citizen over 18 can vote in elections, while citizens over 21 can be elected to public office.
Article 21 entrenches the rights to freedom of expression, thought, and association – all fundamental to free political activity.
The essential details of Namibia’s electoral systems are also set out in the Constitution.
Article 28 deals with the election of the President. A President can only be elected with more than 50 percent of the votes in a national presidential election. This is called a majoritarian system.
Article 49 states that members of the National Assembly are to be elected via a party list system in accordance with principles of proportional representation.
Article 106 states that to be elected as a Regional Councillor, a candidate has to receive the most votes in a constituency-based election. This is called a First-Past-The-Post or FPTP system.

© 2019 Election Watch

Election Watch is a project of the Institute for Public Policy Research in Windhoek, Namibia. Election Watch is funded by the European Union and the Canadian Fund for Local Initiatives.