WINDHOEK – The National Electoral Civil Education Campaign, aimed at this year’s Presidential and National Assembly elections of 27 November, was officially launched on Friday at a ceremony led by Electoral Commission of Namibia (ECN) chairperson, Notemba Tjipueja.
The campaign goes under the theme: “Promoting Inclusive Participation”.
Tjipueja said the electoral body considers voter and civil education a task that calls for multisectoral collaboration.
“This mammoth task cannot be left [to government] alone. It is simply a task too challenging to be left to one institution,” she said.
“We call on the public and private sector, non-governmental organisations, civil society organisations and faith-based organisations to work with the ECN as a team in order to ensure that our citizenry is well informed about the electoral processes through various voter and civil education programmes,” she added. Speaking at the same occasion, Speaker of the National Assembly, Professor Peter Katjavivi, said true democracy should work towards ensuring gender equality and affirmative action for the emancipation of all its citizens. “Free and fair national elections should, therefore, serve as a basis of the authority of any representative government. The theme of the launch is aptly titled: Promoting Inclusive Participation,” he said.
He said this theme underscores the importance of raising awareness to ensure inclusivity relating to special focus groups such as the women, youth, and people living with disabilities as well as marginalised communities.
Subsequently, he said the ECN’s core objective of delivering an inclusive election is by ensuring that all sections of the citizenry, including those that are marginalised are able to participate in elections without any hindrances or obstacles.
“When sections of the community feel disfranchised, it may create discord and undermine the socioeconomic development of the country,” he said.
Before these elections, Katjavivi said ECN is required by the Electoral Act (Act 5 of 2014) to promote sound democratic electoral processes as well as supervise and control the disclosure and dissemination of information regarding electoral matters and establish and maintain the necessary facilities for collecting and transparently disseminating electoral-related information. Historically, he said, marginalised and underrepresented people are often precluded from political decision-making processes such as voting in elections or running as candidates.
“This is either because they lack the means to participate or they are not given the opportunity to do so, or they simply lack the correct information to partake in the exercise,” he said.
“Such people include women and persons with disabilities, as well as citizenry in the diaspora, internally displaced persons and the youth,” he added.
2019-05-20 10:12:07 3 months ago