Frelimo and Swapo under threat as voters turn to opposition Namibia Frelimo majority is under threat as Mozambique goes to polls
Wednesday 01 December 1999
The first day of legislative and presidential voting in Namibia, which is the size of Britain and France combined but has a population of just 1.7 million, went off smoothly yesterday, despite internal tensions and President Sam Nujoma's revision of the constitution last year to allow himself a third term in office.
In Mozambique, which has a population of more than 20 million, President Joaquim Chissano's election for a second term seems certain, even though his Frelimo party's majority in parliament is under threat. In both countries, as in South Africa, which lies between them, the long struggle for liberation has yet to be translated into a climate conducive to democracy.
President Nujoma's Swapo (South West African People's Organisation), which led Namibia's 23-year struggle against South African rule, expects a landslide victory, despite its failure to ease poverty in the diamond- rich desert country.
Namibia is battling with about 40 per cent unemployment, widespread poverty and one of the worst HIV-Aids problems in the world. The 70-year- old president, who voted with his 100-year-old mother yesterday, said Swapo would maintain its two-thirds majority, despite the challenge of seven opposition parties and three presidential candidates.
Analysts felt the preparations for the elections, whose final result will be announced on Monday, had been fair. Swapo's expected success is attributed mainly to a low level of political education and powerful loyalty towards the former guerrilla movement.
At the end of campaigning for Mozambique's elections, President Chissano told journalists in the capital, Maputo, that Frelimo was ``expecting a great victory''. In a country attracting huge foreign investment, voters have a choice of two presidential candidates - Mr Chissano, 60, and the Renamo party leader, Afonso Dhlakama. Ten parties and three coalitions are competing in the parliamentary elections.
After Renamo, Frelimo's former civil war rival, formed an alliance with 10 smaller parties, it is possible that Mr Chissano could win the presidency, while Frelimo loses its parliamentary majority. If that happened, said Mr Chissano, he would negotiate with opposition parties in parliament to gain a majority.
There are known to have been many behind-the-scenes manoeuvres between the parties, who were arch enemies in the fighting which began in 1975, soon after Mozambique gained independence from Portugal, and ended in 1992.
- 1 The BBC has just done more to eradicate ‘terrorism’ than all our wars since 9/11
- 2 Dog thinks owner is drowning in lake, dives in and tries to pull him out
- 4 Chilling drone footage captures Auschwitz ahead of 70th anniversary of liberation
Auschwitz liberation 70th anniversary: Woman sent to three Nazi death camps describes surviving gas chamber
Saudi preacher who 'raped and tortured' his five -year-old daughter to death is released after paying 'blood money'
Greece elections: Greek PM Alexis Tsipras takes aim at 'neo-liberal' Europe as country gears up for prolonged austerity battle
Pornhub star Mia Khalifa receives death threats after being ranked the site's top adult actress
Prince Philip set to be knighted by Australia: Celebrate by reading his greatest gaffes
'We would evict Queen from Buckingham Palace and allocate her council house,' say Greens
French court convicts three over homophobic tweets, in case hailed as a 'significant victory' by LGBT rights campaigners
Greece elections: Syriza and EU on collision course after election win for left-wing party
British Muslim school children suffering a backlash of abuse following Paris attacks
Islamic history is full of free thinkers - but recent attempts to suppress critical thought are verging on the absurd
Leaked documents show Ukip leaders approve NHS privatisation once it becomes more 'acceptable to the electorate'
£16400 - £17500 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This leading online E-commerce ...
£27300 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an opportunity to join a leading...
£22000 - £26000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: One of the UK's leading boiler ...
Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: This is an exciting opportunity to join an awa...