The Supreme Court of Namibia upheld the results of last year’s presidential election, allowing President Hage Geingob to continue his second term. The court found that the other candidates for the position of president failed to prove their case that Geingob’s ruling party had manipulated electronic voting machines. Geingob won with 56 percent of the vote, and the strongest challenger, the independent candidate Panduleni Itula, received 29 percent of the vote, making this the closest election Namibia has seen since independence in 1990.
Itula and other opposition party leaders had requested the courts to nullify the election results and declare a new election, arguing that the lack of a verifiable paper trail with the electronic voting results means there are no checks and balances, which undermines public confidence in the electoral process.
Chief Justice Peter Shivute, in his ruling, concurred with the plaintiffs that the use of electronic voting machines without a paper trail was unconstitutional, and ruled that all future elections must include verifiable hard-copy results.