WINDHOEK – The Electoral Commission of Namibia (ECN) says that since the N$220 million allocated to it for the 2019/20 financial year is not sufficient to successfully cover its programmes and activities, it will be formulating its budget position during the mid-term budget review expected to take place in August and then present it to Treasury.
The ECN initially said it would need close to N$301 million for this year’s general elections.
However, government only allocated N$220 million to ECN for this financial year, which is not sufficient to cover its election programmes and activities slated for November.
Namibia will be going to the polls on November 27 for the Presidential and National Assembly elections.
ECN will be completing the supplementary voter’s registration process this month.
Asked on Thursday if there is any progress regarding the shortfall, ECN chief electoral officer Theo Mujoro said the electoral commission has informed the Namibian public that the budgetary allocation they received for this financial year is insufficient in terms of meeting all their programmes and activities.
“We are confident that Treasury will consider our request or submission favourably. We have no doubt that the state would put at the disposal of the electoral commission all the resources to enable us to carry out this important national programme,” Mujoro said.
ECN chairperson Notemba Tjipueja recently at State House also said the commission had initially requested a higher amount of N$301 million.
She noted that during the budget review ECN would reassess the budget situation within the institution and their preparations for the elections.
She added that for whatever additional budget is required, they would then make their budget request to the Ministry of Finance.
On voter apathy, Mujoro said voter education should be a collective effort.
“The electoral commission can only do so much in terms of informing the electorate and general public about all aspects of the registration process, of what are the requirements, the venue for registration and operation time. We have sufficient capacity in the constituencies and regions. If you take the example of the recently held Ondangwa by-election, we were on the ground for three months. We had physical meetings. But if you look at the turnout on the day of polling, it was disappointing,” he said.
He said it should be a collective effort whereby political parties should take serious interest in reaching out to their followers to maximise the voter turnout.
Tjipueja added it would be very difficult at this point in time for the ECN to give any accurate assessment of why there was voter apathy in the absence of any proper survey.
“Otherwise it will really be guesswork. We can’t give any specific assessment as no survey has been done at this stage,” she noted.
2019-07-08 09:33:28 15 days ago