Namibia: Voters head to the digital polls

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Africa’s first ever electronic ballot held in Namibia.

Screengrab of video introducing electronic voting machines to be used in Namibian elections

Polling booths have opened in Namibia’s general elections, with a new president and parliament to be chosen by the electorate.

For the first time, votes will be cast using e-voting machines, imported from India and stationed in 4,000 locations across the country.

Election officials hope that the new technology will allow votes to be counted much more quickly than previously, meaning a result could be announced within 24 hours of polls closing.

Earlier this week a High Court ruling dismissed claims by opposition parties that the machines could lead to vote rigging.

There are 16 parties contesting the parliamentary vote, with nine fielding presidential candidates.

Analysts predict that the ruling South West Africa People’s Organisation (Swapo) will win the poll, with Prime Minister Hage Geingob set to become president. Swapo has won every election since the country gained independence from South Africa in 1990.

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