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Will Namibia elect its first female president?

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Netumbo Nandi-Ndaitwah, the deputy prime minister of Namibia, is one step closer to becoming the nation’s first female president.

Nandi-Ndaitwah was chosen as the vice president of Namibia’s ruling party on Monday (November 28), making her the front-runner to lead the party into the upcoming national elections in 2024.

The 70-year-old won the race for No. 2 in the South West African People’s Organization, beating out Prime Minister Saara Kuugongelwa-Amadhila and Environment Minister Pohamba Shifeta.

As his predecessors had done, President Hage Geingob, who is set to leave office at the end of his current term, declined to recommend a successor.

In a speech delivered on Monday in the capital, Windhoek, Geingob declared, “We have made history by electing the first female president come 2024.” As quoted by Bloomberg in a report, “I would like to tell her your task moving forward is heavy.”

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The largest political party in Namibia, Swapo, has been in power since the country’s independence in 1990. However, due to widespread unemployment and a corruption scandal that resulted in the arrest of Swapo-affiliated businessmen and former cabinet ministers, the party’s support has recently declined.

In the most recent general election in 2019, the party lost its two-thirds majority in the National Assembly, and Geingob’s vote share decreased from 87% to just over 50%.

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