The All People’s Party has lost a bid to force a recount of last year’s regional council election in the Ndonga Linena constituency after the electoral court dismissed the party’s application.
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 party should approach the court again if they wish to seek a different order.
“There are better ways in which the applicant’s complaint might be addressed, such as seeking an order to have access to the disputed ballot papers to view and form a firm view on the validity or otherwise of such ballot papers,” said the judges.
The party is claiming 40 ballots that were declared spoiled by the Electoral Commission of Namibia’s (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 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 court is, therefore, of the view that on the papers before it, the applicant has not established entitlement to the relief it seeks. The matter is removed from the roll but may be re-enrolled again,” ruled the court.