IPC retains Swakopmund… as poor turnout rocks by-election

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IPC retains Swakopmund… as poor turnout rocks by-election

SWAKOPMUND – Swakopmund mayor Louisa Kativa is expected to resign as a local authority councillor this week, following her by-election victory at the weekend. 

Kativa, who stood as a candidate of the Independent Patriots for Change (IPC) for the Swakopmund constituency seat, obtained 3 625 votes, at least 503 clear of Swapo candidate Salomon Nehemiah. 

Shortly after the announcement of the results, a joyous Kativa indicated she is ready for her new position and will have to resign from her current position within a week. “I am very grateful to my party president Panduleni Itula for opening our eyes as the youth by teaching us that Namibia is all we have, it is not for sale and that we should save it,” an ecstatic Kativa said shortly after being confirmed victorious. 

“I am entering this new challenge under the theme, ‘Love, care and faith’, and my door will be open to all residents of Swakopmund; everyone is welcome.”

She then called upon all residents of Swakopmund to join hands to further develop the town, noting she will not be able to do so on her own. Kativa also said that she did not want to make any promises just yet, as she will only be able to determine what needs to be done when she assumes her new role. Kativa’s closest rival Nehemiah yesterday said Swapo is happy with the results, judging from the fact that less than a half of the town’s residents voted.

“The results show that Swapo is regaining the trust of the community if one looks at the margin that we have lost. It also shows that we are on the right track in getting the Swakopmund constituency back. We just have to continue working hard and make sure that we stay close to our people,” Nehemiah said yesterday.

Meanwhile, UDF party president Aphuis Auchab said his party is ready to work together with all other political parties.  

According to him, the by-elections should not be regarded as a win for a political party but the development of the region.

“Last year was the only year a new party came. It was only UDF and Swapo, but we are hoping that council takes a more positive direction this time. All councillors should forget about their political affiliation and focus on the needs of the region,” the veteran politician said.

Also, Landless Peoples Movement (LPM) deputy leader Henny Seibeb told New Era his party did well, judging from the results. 

“We did well in our own assessment. Those whom we put on our database were not registered to vote in the constituency but the presidential vote, but we will definitely see a different result in the next elections,” Seibeb vowed. 

The latest figures indicate a total of 9 918 votes were cast out of the 37 406 voters registered in the town. 

Rejected ballots amounted to 56. 

Presiding elections officer Amos Nguaiko told the media that although voter turnout was poor this time around, compared to the 20 000 voters recorded last year, he was satisfied with the overall process.

“I believe that the elections were free and fair. I would also like to thank all the political parties who acted accordingly from beginning to end and did not go against the code of conduct – from their campaigns up until the elections,” he said.

– edeklerk@nepc.com.na