GOBABIS – Advocate for independent presidential candidacy in this year’s presidential election, Panduleni Itula, took his campaign to Otjombinde and Otjinene constituencies in the Omaheke Region last weekend.
When contacted for comment on Sunday, Itula told New Era he was not in the region to campaign but to lecture residents about the legality of independent candidates.
He said he has done similar lectures in other parts of the country, with a recent one in Rehoboth in the Hardap Region.
“I don’t know why you journalists only picking up this lectures now. I have been doing these lectures all over the country, this is not a campaign, this is me lecturing Namibians on our constitution. The campaigns haven’t started yet,” said Itula.
Regional information mobiliser for the Swapo Party Elders Council (SPEC) Elvis Kauesa, who allegedly accompanied Itula to both constituencies, could not be reached for comment.
New Era understands that Kauesa could receive marching orders during the Swapo Party Omaheke Regional Executive Committee conference that elects candidates for the party’s electoral college.
The meeting took place yesterday.
It is understood that the lecture at Otjombinde was only attended by 18 people. When asked about the attendance, Itula refused to comment, saying he is actually not in position to share this issue with the media under any circumstances.
“The meetings are public, please attend,” he told this reporter.
Otjombinde Constituency became the first constituency to be governed by an independent candidate when, in 2015, Katjanaa Kaurivi stood as an independent candidate and won the election.
Kaurivi, still a Swapo card-carrying member, decided to run as an independent candidate in the 2015 regional council elections, after the outcome of disputed Swapo primaries, in which he lost the party candidature to then Otjombinde Constituency Councillor Karii Marenga.
The result of the 2015 regional council election in Otjombinde Constituency in Omaheke saw Kaurivi thrashing Marenga with 1 396 votes to 681 to win the emotionally-charged race.
According to the law, a candidate for the Office of President can be a politically independent person or a nominee of a registered political party. An independent candidate has to be supported by a minimum number of registered voters determined by an Act of Parliament.
Section 72(c) (ii) of the Electoral Act, 2014 requires an independent candidate to be supported by at least 500 registered voters, from each of the 14 regions in Namibia.
In addition, the candidate shall be nominated and seconded by registered voters. The successful candidate has to get more than 50 percent of the votes cast in a presidential election, irrespective of his/her source of nomination.
2019-08-21 07:21:19 | 7 months ago