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Human Rights Group Says Namibia's November Elections Not Free or Fair

A human rights group says last month’s elections in Namibia were neither free nor fair. The National Society for Human Rights has issued a report on the vote.

Phil ya Nangoloh is executive director of the group. From Windhoek, he spoke to English to Africa reporter Joe De Capua about the election problems detailed in the report.

He says, “We use international as well as the standard applied to the SADC (Southern Africa Development Community) region. And these are the criteria we use, including the neutrality of election officials, objectivity, impartiality, accountability, transparency and credibility of these officials. They did not comply to any of these as far as we are concerned. That’s why we cannot declare these elections as having been free and fair.”

Mr. ya Nangoloh also says the voter registration process was flawed because it was carried out by one of the political parties. He also says there’s evidence of intimidation of voters. He says, “We have found in fact two types of intimidation. The first one was active intimidation. This is intimidation manifested by assault, physical assault of certain people, who belong to certain political parties. This intimidation came in fact from the incumbent party (SWAPO). And there was also passive intimidation. That is, the leaders of the incumbent party have been going around in the country on the campaign, telling citizens that you must vote for the hand that fees you.”

The human rights official says many Namibians rely on the government for pensions and social security. Click above links to download or listen to interview. And more information can be found at