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Namibia : South West Africa People's Organization (SWAPO)

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The South West Africa People's Organization (SWAPO) is a political party and former liberation movement in Namibia. It has been the governing party in Namibia since independence in 1990. For electoral purposes, it is referred to as the SWAPO Party. The party won 75.1% of popular votes and 55 out of 78 seats in the parliamentary election held on November 15, 2004.

Though the organization strongly insisted upon rejecting the term "South West Africa" and replacing it with "Namibia", the organization's own name  derived from the territory's old name  was already too deeply rooted to be changed.

When Namibia gained its independence in 1990 SWAPO became the dominant political party, with its head, Sam Nujoma, elected as Namibia's first President. Nujoma had the constitution changed so he could run for a third term in 1999, but in 2004 he was replaced as the SWAPO presidential candidate by Hifikepunye Pohamba, who was described as Nujoma's hand-picked successor.

Former Prime Minister Hage Geingob was elected to succeed Pohamba as Vice-President at the same congress, and Minister of Justice Pendukeni Iivula-Ithana was elected as Secretary-General, becoming the first woman to hold that position. At the congress, Pohamba was renominated as SWAPO's presidential candidate for the 2009 election. SWAPO is a full member of the Socialist International.


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