The real winners of Election 2019

02 December 2019 | Columns

Election 2019 has come and gone, although there are still ongoing squabbling over the results.

The polls have been a difficult one for the nation. They came amid a plethora of social and economic challenges. It is therefore unsurprising that the ruling party and its presidential candidate, who also had to overcome a bruising battle with a fellow Swapo member who stood as an independent candidate, were punished significantly by voters. The Landless People's Movement (LPM) impressed in their first election, while smatterings of votes went to smaller opposition parties. However, if truth be told, the biggest winners were undoubtedly the Popular Democratic Movement (PDM). Their presidential candidate, McHenry Venaani, may have failed to impress in what turned out to be a two-horse presidential race, but his party will have 16 MPs in next year's newly constituted National Assembly. This is up from the five they managed to garner following the 2014 general election. When Venaani took over the then DTA in 2013, there was little hope for the ailing party. In the 2009 general election under Katuutire Kaura the party has scraped together two seats after receiving about 3% of the vote. A year after Venaani become party leader, there was a better showing at the polls: 44 271 votes (5%) and five seats. As the results for 2019 filtered in, the PDM had already surpassed this figure with only 30% of the country's 121 constituencies counted. The ECN's election.na website showed by late yesterday that with 94% of the constituencies collated, the PDM stood on 16.55% of the National Assembly vote (126 880 votes). Also, many areas in Khomas, the coast, the south and the north have now been added to the PDM's strongholds. More tellingly, Swapo's two-thirds majority has been resigned to the dustbin. Venaani, himself a youngster by political standards, now has a team at his disposal that can built a solid foundation for future elections. The extra party parliamentary funding will also not hurt.

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