Namibia profile

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.

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

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