Namibia will hold general elections in November 2014, and while a new Electoral Bill was tabled on 19 August 2014, there has been a lack of clarity as to when it would be passed into law. The new bill is the result of a protracted electoral reform process. Initially welcomed by the opposition, it gradually became a point of contention with the government after being delayed for several months. The Law Reform and Development Commission, which drafted the legislation, was alleged to have allowed political interference from the ruling SWAPO Party of Namibia in the process. This is largely due to the introduction of unexpected constitutional amendments. These were passed in August 2014, despite a lack of consultation on the changes and the glaring fact that the proposed Electoral Bill was still pending. Therefore, instead of improving prospects for more efficient administration in the forthcoming elections, Namibia’s electoral reform may instead undermine the credibility of its electoral processes.
About the author
Dimpho Motsamai joined the ISS in 2010 as a researcher in the Conflict Prevention and Risk Analysis division. Her work focuses on the Southern African Development Community’s peace and security policies and structures; and security and conflict vulnerability dynamics in Swaziland, Lesotho, Zambia, Botswana and Namibia and Mozambique. Dimpho studied at the University of the Witwatersrand (Wits) in Johannesburg and holds a master’s degree in international relations. She is currently pursuing a doctoral degree at the Wits School of Governance.