laws of South Africa, SWAPO, Sam Nujoma, constituent assembly, government participation
Before 1990, South Africa controlled Namibia’s defense and foreign affairs, and could veto its legislation. The constitution of 1990 established Namibia as an independent republic. According to the constitution, Namibia’s president is the executive and is elected by the voters. The president may serve a maximum of two terms of five years, although a constitutional amendment approved in 1998 granted an exception to the current president, Sam Nujoma, allowing him to run for and win a third term in 1999. Legislative authority is vested in the National Assembly, a body made up of 72 elected members and up to 6 appointed representatives. The National Council, made up of two representatives from each of Namibia’s 13 regional councils, acts as an advisory body.
During the period of South African rule, the security and apartheid (racial segregation) laws of South Africa were extended to Namibia, and black nationalist parties were barred from government participation. This barrier was removed as independence approached, and the black nationalist South West Africa People's Organization(SWAPO) won a majority of the votes in elections for a constituent assembly in November 1989. SWAPO won a majority again in the elections of 1994 and 1999. The most important minority parties are the multiracial Democratic Turnhalle Alliance (DTA) and the Congress of Democrats (COD).
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