The Electoral Commission of Namibia (ECN) has set Friday, 2 July as the date on which the by-election in the Opuwo Rural constituency will be held.
The vacancy in this constituency occurred following the death of constituency councillor Uaurikua Kakuva earlier this month from Covid-19 complications.
He was buried at Okarundu-Kozombangane near Opuwo in the Kunene region.
ECN Chief Electoral and Referenda Officer Theo Mujoro said in a statement released on Monday that the supplementary registration of voters (SRV) for the Opuwo Rural constituency started on Monday, 26 April and ends today.
According to the Regional Councils’ act, if a vacancy occurs in a particular constituency, the ECN is obligated in terms of the law to conduct a by-election in that particular constituency within 90 days from the date the vacancy occurred.
As per the electoral act, Act 5 of 2014, an SRV is to be conducted in accordance with Section 38(1) read together with Section 25 (2) of the Act.
“The purpose of the supplementary registration of voters before the holding of an election is to include in the voters’ register persons who have since turned 18 years of age after the last registration, persons who have moved from one constituency to another, or persons whose voter registration cards are reported lost or damaged; and any other applicant who qualifies for registration in terms of the act,” Mujoro explained.
He said the commission has successfully recruited 110 registration officials. The training of the registration officials commenced on Tuesday, 19 April, and was concluded last Friday.
Mujoro said the sensitive registration materials for the SRV process were dispatched last Monday under strict security escort of the Namibian police, and safely placed for safekeeping at the police station within the constituency.
Furthermore, the commission has secured all the required vehicles for the process.
“A total of 44 vehicles will be used during the SRV. The Opuwo Rural constituency is a mountainous area, sparsely populated and vast. For this reason, a total of 22 polling teams have been established to visit more than 100 mobile registration stations,” he added.
Mujoro said the ECN commenced with its voter and civic education campaign for the SRV as from Monday last week to encourage all eligible voters to participate in the electoral process with a view to facilitate the right to vote, as enshrined in the Namibian Constitution.
“Specific targeted programmes with customised messaging for the different population groups were developed and shared through different platforms such as television, radio, social media, posters, face-to-face meetings and flyers,” he continued.
Registration officials at all the registration points across the constituency will adhere to strict preventative measures in place to lessen the impact of Covid-19.
Mujoro further called on all eligible voters to adhere to the measures provided by adapting attitudes and behaviour for the new reality to ensure the safety of all citizens during the process.
He said a provisional voters register (PVR) will be available for inspection by registered voters next week Monday.