Namibia profile

President-elect: Hage Geingob

Namibian president-elect Hage Geingob

Hage Geingob was voted in as president in the November 2014 elections while serving as prime minister. He will assume office on 21 March 2015.

It was Africa's first electronic ballot, in which voters made their choice using e-voting machines at the 4,000 polling stations across the country.

He succeeds Hifikepunye Pohamba, who steps down at the end of the two terms allowed by the constitution.

Dr Geingob, who was born in 1941, became prime minister when Namibia gained independence from South Africa in 1990 and served in that position until 2002.

He became prime minister again in 2012, having served for a spell as minister of trade and industry.

In 2007 he was chosen as vice-president of the ruling party and former liberation movement - South West Africa People's Organization (SWAPO) - which has been in power since independence.

He spent several years abroad promoting the idea of independence for what was then known as South West Africa.

Following UN-supervised elections in the run-up to independence, he chaired the constituent assembly which drafted the constitution which came into effect with Namibian independence.

His doctoral thesis at the University of Leeds, in Britain, was titled "State Formation in Namibia: Promoting Democracy and Good Governance". He gained his PhD in 2004.

The president, who shares executive power with the cabinet, is limited to two five-year terms.

Outgoing president: Hifikepunye Pohamba

Namibian President Pohamba Mr Pohamba was a founding member of the rebel movement which fought for independence

Hifikepunye Pohamba, a founding member of the rebel movement which fought for his country's independence, won presidential elections in 2004 and again in November 2009.

Though once viewed as a stooge for Namibia's liberation leader Sam Nujoma, President Pohamba has slowly cemented his own authority and built a reputation as a soft-spoken consensus builder.

When Pohamba first ran for president in 2004, Mr Nujoma was still seen as the power behind the throne, with a firm grip over the ruling South West Africa People's Organisation (SWAPO).

But Mr Nujoma has since officially retired from politics, with Pohamba taking the helm of SWAPO, the former liberation movement that fought a decades-long campaign against apartheid South Africa until independence in 1990.

SWAPO has been in power pretty much unchallenged since independence, usually gaining overwhelming majorities in elections.

In the 2009 polls, African observer missions declared the exercise transparent, peaceful and fair. Local observers and opposition parties criticised delays in vote counting and releasing results, and alleged voting and counting irregularities.

In the run-up to polls due to be held in 2014, opposition parties were reported to be struggling to attract enough funding to run campaigns.

Born in 1935, Hifikepunye Pohamba went into exile in the 1960s and later studied in the Soviet Union.

He was independent Namibia's first home minister and then held the fisheries and land portfolio before being elected president in 2004.

In March 2015, Mr Pohamba was awarded the five million dollar Mo Ibrahim prize for African leadership. The award is given to an elected leader who governs well, raises living standards and then leaves office.

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