Kuzeeko Tjitemisa Windhoek Electoral Commission of Namibia (ECN) Director of Elections Professor Paul Isaak has indicated he will seek a second term in office upon the expiry of his employment contract at the end of August. In an interview with New Era last week, Isaak, who has been at the helm of the electoral body since the beginning of August 2013 after he was appointed by then president Hifikepunye Pohamba, revealed he is ready for a second term if given the chance. The Electoral Act, Section 17 states that the Chief Electoral Officer must notify the Chairperson of the Commission to invite by notice in at least two daily newspapers circulating throughout Namibia any person who complies with the qualifications of and criteria for appointment as Chief Electoral Officer, to apply in writing for the appointment.Isaak says already he gave such notification to ECN Chairperson Notemba Tjipueja. When asked whether the ECN has sufficient staff or whether they are adequately funded, Isaak replied that the current staff structure makes provision for 53 permanent posts and is complemented by a staff component of 127 temporary employees placed both at head office and regional level. “The temporary staff at head office provide support services to the institution in different divisions and sections, while the majority temporary staff at regional level are charged with the provision of voter and civic education,” he explained. He said such situation is not suitable and the electoral body urgently needs more permanent staff. Currently, he said, the ECN is in preparation to request adjustments to be made on the existing organisational structure. On financial matters, Isaak said the government has always funded all elections adequately and the electoral body remains thankful. Isaak says upon his appointment the main challenge was to deliver free, fair and credible elections that would be accepted by all stakeholders at all levels – being local, national, regional (SADC), continental and worldwide. He said under his leadership the 2014 Presidential and National Assembly as well as the 2015 Regional Councils and Local Authorities elections were hailed as one of the most successful, free, fair, peaceful and credible elections in the history of the country. He said such successful outcome of the elections were characterised by excitement and the long winding queues of enthusiastic but patient voters and has been compared in many ways to the November 1989 ‘watershed’ United Nations (UN) supervised and controlled elections, ushered in Namibia’s independence.
2018-04-09 08:36:08 5 months ago