System of Government
The Constitution promulgates a multiparty democracy with fundamental rights and freedoms, a mixed economy and states that foreign investment should be encouraged. It also follows the principle of a separation of powers, subject to checks and balances, whereby government is divided into three branches, the executive, the legislature and the judiciary.
Structure of Government
The President is the Head of State and Government. He is also the Commander-in-Chief of the Namibian Defence Force. Executive power is vested in the President and Cabinet. He is elected by popular vote for a term of five years for no more than two terms. He signs the bills passed by parliament into law.
Namibia has a bicameral legislature consisting of the National Assembly and the National Council.
The 72 voting member National Assembly is elected for a term of five years on the basis of proportional representation and “Westminster-type” rules apply to the procedures of the house. The President appoints an additional six non-voting members.
The National Council was formed in accordance with chapter eight of the Namibian Constitution, in February 1993, after the regional elections held in November 1992. The Council is made up of 2 representatives from each of the 13 Regional Councils, elected every six years. It reviews legislation proposed by the National Assembly and refers bills back or suggests amendments before they receive presidential assent and become law.
The judiciary consists of the Supreme Court (headed by the Chief Justice), the High Court (headed by the Judge President) and the Lower Courts. The Judiciary is independent and subject only to the Constitution. Judges are appointed by the President on the recommendation of the Judicial Service Commission.