The All People’s Party has accused the Electoral Commission of Namibia (ECN) of defying a recent court order instructing them to make the ballots cast in the Kavango East region’s Ndonga Linena constituency elections available.
Last month, Electoral Court judges Nate Ndauendapo, Boas Usiku and Hannelie Prinsloo ordered the ECN and its chief electoral officer to avail and allow the party to make copies of the 57 rejected ballots cast in that constituency during last year’s regional council elations.
The court ordered the ECN to comply with the order within 15 days from the judgement, which was delivered on 22 June.
“They have definitely defied the court order. They only provided us with four of the 57 ballots, and the boxes were opened without any
of our party representatives present,” APP secretary general Vinsent Kanyetu claimed. He said they afterwards enquired with the ECN, but were not given a satisfactory answer. Thus, the party’s legal team are preparing to head back to court.
“We are now going to seek an order to nullify the election results and have a recount because clearly, things were not done accordingly,” noted Kanyetu.
The party would also ask for an order to declare the election results for the Ndonga Linena constituency and the swearing-in of the councillors as null and void. Last year, APP candidate Djami Balthazar Daniel obtained 1 061 votes – 12 votes less than Swapo candidate Kampota Michael Shiwana, who received 1 073. Shiwana was declared duly elected.
The APP challenged the outcome of the 25 November 2020 regional council elections after 57 ballots, cast in favour of its candidate, were declared spoilt after voters made crosses on the face of the candidate, instead of in the appropriate box.
According to them, their agents observed on the day of the elections that 40 of the rejected ballots were in favour of their candidate. However, when their agents objected to the rejection of the ballots and requested recounts, the presiding officer refused.
They further claim the presiding officer failed to record their requests in the occurrence book, as prescribed by law. ECN chief electoral officer Theo Mujoro refuted the APP’s allegations, and said they have complied with the court order.
He said an arrangement was made through the APP’s legal team so that the ballots could be made available to the party as per court order.
“All these are lies. Kanyetu himself was there. I personally facilitated the whole process, and he was there in person, accompanied by their lawyer, and the material was handed to them,” explained Mujoro. He added that he could not delve further into the matter as the APP plans on going back to court.