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APP fights on in electoral court

2021-04-12  Maria Amakali

APP fights on in electoral court
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The All People’s Party (APP) has returned to the electoral court in which it is seeking an order that would compel the Electoral Commission of Namibia (ECN) to allow them access to 57 ballots cast but reportedly rejected during the regional council election for Ndonga Linena constituency last year. 

In their new application filed on Friday, the party wants ECN to allow them to make copies of the ballots that were rejected during the elections.  

“After obtaining copies of the ballots, the applicant (APP) intends on bringing an election application to this court and it is prudent that it obtains copies of the 57 ballots,” explained APP’s secretary general Vinsent Kanyetu in his affidavit.

Last month, the same court dismissed the party’s application to have a recount of last year’s regional council election in the Ndonga Linena constituency.  

Deputy Judge President Hosea Angula and judges Boas Usiku and Hannelie Prinsloo ruled the orders sought by the party will not be satisfied by a recount of the alleged spoiled ballots. 

Thus, the judges advised that the party should approach the court again if they wish to seek a different order. 

At the time, the court indicated there are better ways in which the party complaint might be addressed, such as seeking an order to have access to the disputed ballot papers to view and for them to form a firm view on the validity of the rejected ballots. 

The party is claiming that the ballots that were declared spoiled by the ECN presiding officers were not spoiled, according to law.

Last year, APP candidate Djami Balthazar Daniel obtained 1 061 votes – 12 votes less than the Swapo candidate Kampota Michael Shiwana, who received 1 073.

Shiwana was declared duly elected. 

In their dismissed application, APP agents allegedly observed ballots considered spoiled were ballots on which voters made a marking on photographed faces of their candidate of choice, rather than marking on the blank space next to the candidates as per the voting instructions.

However, the court ruled that in terms of the provisions of the Act, ECN is empowered to make a decision on whether a ballot paper bears a ‘clear writing or mark’ indicating a voter’s choice – ECN has made a decision rejecting the ballot papers in question.

The party is represented by local lawyer Henry Shimutwikeni.

- mamakali@nepc.com.na


2021-04-12  Maria Amakali

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