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ECN hunts for new commissioners

2021-03-30  Kuzeeko Tjitemisa

ECN hunts for new commissioners

The Electoral Commission of Namibia (ECN) has started the process of identifying replacements for the current commissioners whose term lapses towards the end of this year.

ECN last week placed adverts in local newspapers inviting interested parties to apply for the appointment as members of the electoral body to replace ECN chairperson Notemba Tjipueja, Ulrich Freyer and Elsie Nghikembua, whose terms are ending later this year.

The new commissioners will join Gerson Tjihenuna and Evaristus Evaristus, who were appointed to the commission in 2019.

 The Electoral Act, Act 5 of 2014 mandates that the ECN invite interested persons to apply, in writing, for appointment as member of the electoral commission for a period not exceeding five years. 

The same Act also mandates that the ECN selects not less than ten but not more than 20 applicants to be interviewed by a selection committee. 

The selection committee established in terms of section 5 of the Electoral Act, 2014, is mandated to shortlist and interview the applicants. 

Interviews held with shortlisted applicants are open to the public and that the committee must, in writing, recommend to the President any eight or less than eight, but a sufficient number of suitable applicants, to be considered for appointments as a member of the commission.

Tjipueja, Freyer and Nghikembua’s terms end on 15 September.  Tjipueja and Freyer would have served the institution for ten years on 15 September and, therefore, will not be eligible to re-apply. Nghikembua has served the institution for five years and will be eligible to re-apply.

In the advertisement, ECN said successful applicants should be Namibian, in possession of at least three years tertiary qualification or level seven Namibian Qualification Authority (NQA) qualification, preferably in the field of law, political science or public administration.

Applicants are further required to be at least 21 years of age and those applying for the chairperson position are required to be at least 35 years of age.  

Furthermore, applicants are required to have a thorough knowledge and understanding of Namibian politics, history, culture, issues and trends relating to democracy and election in Namibia, generally in the SADC region and other parts of the world – and have extensive experience and outstanding acumen in conflict resolution, negotiation and mediation.

Similarly, applicants are further required to provide an affidavit on whether they do not have a criminal record, or they are an un-rehabilitated insolvent and are of unsound mind or mentally disordered or defective and have been declared by a competent court, among others.

2021-03-30  Kuzeeko Tjitemisa

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