WINDHOEK – The ruling Swapo Party yesterday led a protest by political parties, questioning the interpretation of the Electoral Act, following the Electoral Commission of Namibia (ECN)’s notice, which compels aspiring parliamentarians and those employed in the public service to first resign from their positions before running for office.
According to the ECN, party members employed in the public service, as well as the National Council, regional and local authorities, must first resign upon their nomination as candidates for political office, Namibian Sun reported this week. The ECN cited section 77 (4) of the Electoral Act, 5 of 2014 that states: “A person may only be nominated as a candidate on a list of candidates if the person - (a) qualifies to be elected as a member of the National Assembly by virtue of Article 46 (1) (a) of the Namibian Constitution”. “Article 46 (1) (a) deals with the composition of the National Assembly, and state inter alia, “subject to Article 47 hereof shall be eligible for candidature as a member of the National Assembly.” In her notice to political parties, ECN chairperson Notemba Tjipueja said Article 47 deals with disqualification of members and states that no person may become members of the National Assembly if they are remunerated members of the public service of Namibia. As a result, Tjipueja said section 77 (4) of the Electoral Act conveys that a party can only nominate candidates who do not fall into any of these categories unless they have resigned from their respective positions. But in a petition to the ECN yesterday, Swapo and 10 other parties challenged the ECN, claiming the Act does not preclude the nomination of individuals. “The Electoral Commission should read section 77 (4) purposively and invoke the Golden Rule of interpretation to give effect to the actual meaning of Article 46 and 47 of the constitution,” the petition read. The document was signed by Swapo, United Democratic Front of Namibia (UDF), United People’s Movement (UPM), All People Party (APP), Landless People’s Movement (LPM), Christiaan Democratic Voice (CDV), Namibia Economic Freedom Fighters (NEFF), National Democratic Party of Namibia (NDP), National Unity Democratic Organisation (Nudo), Popular Democratic Movement (PDM), Rally for Democracy and Progress (RDP) and Swanu of Namibia.
2019-10-11 07:39:19 | 6 days ago