The recount of votes cast in the regional council election for Ndonga Linena constituency in November last year has confirmed Swapo’s narrow victory.
Swapo candidate Kampota Shiwana was again declared duly elected following a recount exercise at the Electoral Commission of Namibia headquarters yesterday.
Shiwana was declared the official winner with 1 094 votes. All People’s Party’s Djami Balthazar Daniel came in at second place, obtaining 1 074 votes.
PDM candidate, Shipapo Kayeya and IPC’s Kashera Shiyemo obtained 146 and 72 votes respectively. 20 of the ballots cast were declared spoiled.
ECN was on 9 September ordered by the High Court to carry out a vote recount for Ndonga Linena constituency after the court declared the election results null and void.
Consequently, the swearing-in of Shiwana, who was declared the winner, on 25 November 2020 was also declared null and void.
Speaking after the announcement, ECN’s chief electoral officer Theo Mujoro said they have officially complied with the court order and all electoral provisions were complied with. “The successful completion of the recount exercise bears testimony to Namibia’s robust electoral system and ECN’s commitment to upholding the values of transparency, professionalism and integrity,” said Mujoro. Before the recount commenced, Mujoro said the recount did not preempt or anticipate who will emerge victorious. The court order was issued after APP approached the Electoral Court after ECN failed to fully comply with the court directive of June - to make 57 rejected ballots from the constituency available to the APP to make copies. ECN only managed to provide four of the 57 rejected ballots on 12 July. Last year, APP candidate Daniel obtained 1 061 votes – 12 votes less than the Swapo candidate Shiwana, who received 1 073. Shiwana was declared duly elected. The APP challenged the outcome of the November 2020 regional council elections after 57 ballots, cast in favour of its candidate, were declared spoilt after voters made crosses on the face of the candidate, instead of the appropriate box. According to them, their agents observed on the day of the election that 40 of the rejected ballots were in favour of the candidate. However, when their agents objected to the rejection of the ballots and requested recounts, the presiding officer refused. They further claimed the presiding officer failed to record their requests in the occurrence book as according to the Act.
Meanwhile, APP’s secretary general Vinsent Kanyetu yesterday said ECN is not trustworthy as more irregularities were observed. “Whatever they have announced here, it is still fake. Why? Because we have seen how things have changed, and number two, irregularities are still being picked up,” said Kanyetu. He further claimed some of the ballots cast in favour of their candidate were also marked with ink on the Swapo candidate. He said ECN should explain where the ink markings came from when only a pencil is provided to the voters. He assured further steps will be taken in the future. Swapo, who opted not to be part of the recount process, were also not available for comment before going to print.