Steady voting was reported on Monday (4 December) at the beginning of week long elections in Namibia (South West Africa) called by South Africa in defiance of the United Nations.
Steady voting was reported on Monday (4 December) at the beginning of week long elections in Namibia (South West Africa) called by South Africa in defiance of the United Nations. The elections are aimed at finding a pre-independence constituent assembly in the disputed territory, but are being boycotted by the major black nationalist party SWAPO (South West Africa People's Organisation) and two other parties. As a result, the Democratic Turnhalle Alliance (DTA), favoured by the South African government, has been tipped for a clear victory. The start of polling was overshadowed by two bomb attacks at the weekend in which fifteen people were injured.
SYNOPSIS: The blasts in the capital, Windhoek, on Saturday were timed to go off when the city streets were crowded with shoppers. Two girls were hurt when the first exploded under a parked car and thirteen more people wounded later when a nearby supermarket was blasted. The store was in a building also housing offices of security police and a right-wing, mainly white, party contesting the elections.
Minutes after the blasts, thirty black supporters of SWAPO were detained for holding an illegal demonstration and for carrying placards which advocated violence in the country. Reuters reports that though SWAPO has denied responsibility for the bombings, its supporters were being blamed by the authorities, SWAPO, one of the parties boycotting the election, is recognised by the United Nations as the legitimate political heir in Namibia. Its external military wing is fighting a bush war against South African troops in the territory.
The elections are for a constituent assembly and, as the polling stations opened, there were reports of a high turnout of voters. The multi-racial DTA says the assembly will have power to draw up an independence constitution and negotiate with South Africa for independence. The polling stations will be open for twelve hours a day until Friday and counting will begin when ballot are received from more than 1,000 stations through the country. Results are not expected until about 10 days after voting ends.