• December 15th, 2019

Voter apathy mars by-election



ONGWEDIVA - The Oshakati East Constituency by-election where Swapo’s candidate Abner Shikongo emerged victorious over the weekend was equally marred by a low-voter turnout.

Out of the 18 385 registered voters only a mere 19 percent showed up to cast their votes on Saturday.
According to the Electoral Commission of Namibia (ECN) only 3 413 voters cast their votes.
Swapo’s Shikongo scooped 2 935 of the votes, followed by the Independent Candidate Fiina Kuutondokwa with 234.

Other contestants, Popular Democratic Movement (PDM) Theofelus Kamati scored 185, Namibia Economic Freedom Fighters (32), Congress of Democrats’ Elias Iiyambo (17) and Swanu of Namibia’s Rebekka Kambayi with a paltry 10 votes.

At the recent by-election for Ondangwa Urban in June, only 23 percent of the total registered voters casted their votes.

Of the 16 000 registered voters, only 3792 voters had cast their votes.
Some of the people New Era spoke to on Saturday said they were not aware of the ongoing election, despite ECN claims that they were on the ground doing voters education.

“Unless the people are ignorant, our voters’ education team was in the constituency to alert the voters,” said the Oshakati East by-election Returning Officer Efraim Iiyambo.

Iyambo said despite the low voter turnout experienced on Saturday, there were no major hiccups recorded except for a woman who voted twice at Mandengu Community Centre.
Iiyambo said the fault was caused by an ECN official hence the voter could not be held accountable.
He further said there was nothing ECN could do to retract the vote because of the electronic voting system in place.

Still on the election, Regional Court Magistrate at Oshakati Leopoldt Hangalo on Friday dismissed the All People’s Party (APP) urgent application to halt the election.
Hangalo said APP’s case holds no merit and informed that reasons of the dismissal will be made available on a date to be announced soon.

APP’s Tangy Mike Tshilongo filed an urgent application to halt the election and pave way for their candidate Edward Kambwali to be registered to contest.

Tshilongo, who defended his own case, argued that he was not late as he found the proceedings still ongoing at the time he arrived at 11H25 minutes on the date of submissions and nominations of candidates in July.

But, Advocate Sacky Akweenda from the Society of Advocates in reply said the Act says that candidates can only be registered if and when at the last hour (11H00) the person is present and is ready to make their submission or nomination thereof.

“At 11H00, he (Tshilongo) was not there, he was not present and he was not ready,” said Akweenda as he asked the court to dismiss the application.

Tshilongo after the hearing said he has nothing against the election going forth and that he simply wanted to express his democratic right.
Akweenda was assisted by Advocate Neli Tjahikika from the Government Attorney’s Office.
 


Nuusita Ashipala
2019-08-27 06:54:08 | 3 months ago

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