• April 7th, 2020

ECN dumps EVMs for now


The Electoral Commission of Namibia (ECN) said it would do away with electoral voting machines (EVMs) in favour of ballot papers for next month’s by-elections in Opuwo and Otjiwarongo. This follows consultation meeting with political parties. The decision is also strongly influenced by the recent Supreme Court judgement, which ruled that as of 21 March 2020, a verifiable paper trail should be used in every election making use of EVMs. 

The Otjiwarongo and Opuwo by-elections are slated for 9 March. “(The) meeting participants unanimously agreed to the usage of manual ballot papers during the aforementioned by-elections as provided for in the Electoral Act,” said ECN chief electoral officer Theo Mujoro. Mujoro confirmed 13 political parties were in attendance at the said meeting and consented to the use of paper ballots. The political parties are: All Peoples Party (APP), Christian Democratic Voice Party (CDV), Landless People’s Movement (LPM), Namibia Economic Freedom Fighters (NEFF), National Democratic Party of Namibia (NDP), National Patriotic Front (NPF), National Unity Organisation of Namibia (Nudo), the Popular Democratic Movement (PDM), Rally for Democracy and Progress (RDP), Republican Party of Namibia (RP), Swanu of Namibia (Swanu), Swapo, and the United People’s Movement (UPM). 

Mujoro said ECN wishes to inform the Namibian nation that consultations will be held with stakeholders in March or April to discuss different options regarding the manner of voting in future elections. Earlier this month, the Supreme Court found that the ECN decision not to allow a verifiable paper trail is unconstitutional and should be set aside. 

The by-election at Opuwo Rural is necessitated by the resignation of Kazeongere Tjeundo, who is headed to the National Assembly on PDM ticket. A vacancy also occurred on 10 December 2019 in the Otjiwarongo constituency following the death of councillor Julius Neumbo, who died in a car accident. 
The ECN is required in terms of the Regional Council’s Act, to conduct a by-election, where a vacancy has occurred within 90 days. The Swapo Party and the PDM are the only parties that have shown interest in contesting the upcoming Opuwo Rural constituency regional council by-election. 
-anakale@nepc.com.na

 


Albertina Nakale
2020-02-17 07:02:14 | 1 months ago

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