• July 16th, 2020

WRP, Swanu in new poll challenge

The Workers Revolutionary Party (WRP) and Swanu of Namibia are throwing their spanner into the works of trying to have the 2019 Presidential and National Assembly elections declared null and void in the electoral court. 

The two parties lodged an application for an interim order calling upon the Electoral Commission of Namibia (ECN), its chairperson, the Presidency, President Hage Geingob, as well as any other interested parties to show cause why the ECN should not be directed forthwith to declare the elections null and void.

They further want the court to direct the ECN and its chairperson to “forthright” retract the declaration made on 30 November last year declaring Geingob the winner and interdicting and restraining Chief Justice Peter Shivute and Deputy Chief Justice Petrus Damaseb from swearing in Geingob as the country’s president. 

They are also asking for costs of the application from any party opposing the application.
They have cited the minister of urban and rural development, the attorney general, Chief Justice Shivute, Deputy Chief Justice Damaseb, ECN, its chairperson, the presidency and Geingob, as well as all the political parties and its leaders as respondents.

Only the minister, attorney general, ECN and its chairperson have given notices to oppose the application.
According to the founding affidavit submitted by Rachel Amanda Tsoeu, the ECN did not comply with the Procurement Act of 1996 in the procurement of the electronic voting machines (EVMs). 

“The said Act required the ECN to draw up specifications of the EVMs to be procured and that such procurement be sourced publicly. This was not done and the EVMs were directly procured from the Indian army on their specifications,” she stated.

She went on to say the absurdity was that the procurement of the EVMs from the Indian army was done on the recommendations made by a group of politicians with no knowledge of electronics, and for that matter EVMs.

According to Tsoeu, what makes the matter worse is that the sourcing of the supplier of the Indian army were shrouded in secrecy to which both parliament and the ECN were not part.
She further submitted that since April 2014, the WRP has submitted numerous requests to the ECN regarding the fatal defects of the EVMs.

Such defects are the voter registration, which permit thousands of duplicates, as admitted by the ECN itself, she said.

She further stated that the legislation on the EVMs did not contain regulations specifying standards for components, programmes, hardware security, software security and manufacture, and that the EVMs were only demonstrated by the Indians and no trial runs or audits were conducted. Existing legislation required that a paper trail of voting had to be kept as security against the electronic votes, a requirement the minister conveniently overlooked when he put the EVMs in operation, the applicants argued and continued: The ECN does not keep a paper trail as new legislation is being prepared, which does not require paper trails. 

They submitted that the only available remedy to them is declaring the 2019 elections null and void and directing a re-election of all registered parties compliant with the constitution and the rule of law without delay.       

No date was given on when the case will be heard. 
Last week, the Supreme Court upheld the results of last year’s presidential vote in a unanimous judgement. 

The outcome of the 2019 presidential elections was challenged by Dr Panduleni Itula, who stood as an independent candidate, as well as Henk Mudge of the Republican Party, Epafras Mukwiilongo of the Namibian Economic Freedom Fighters, Ignatius Shixwameni of the All People’s Party and Mike Kavekotora of the Rally for Democracy and Progress in an attempt to have last year’s presidential election nullified and held again.

However, there was partial victory for the applicants after the court found the directive of then minister of regional, local government and housing Charles Namoloh to bring into operation the use of electronic voting machines (EVMs) without a verifiable paper trail is in conflict with the constitution and thus invalid and set aside. rlouth@nepc.com.na

Roland Routh
2020-02-10 07:28:49 | 5 months ago

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