In November 1989, 23 years after the United Nations terminated South Africa's mandate to administer Namibia, the Territory took its first step towards independence. Under the supervision of the United Nations Transition Assistance Group (UNTAG), a team of more than 6,000 military and civilian personnel, a Constituent Assembly was elected. Despite various setbacks, more than 90 percent of registered voters participated in electing the 72 delegates to draw up Namibia's new constitution. The election was formally certified as free and fair by Martti Ahtisaari, the Secretary-General's Special Representative for Namibia.
A voter casts her ballot at the polling station at Odangwa in Ovamboland. [November 1989]