THE Electoral Commission of Namibia (ECN) is reminding political parties to comply with guidelines pertaining to the conduct of political activities as this year’s regional council and local authorities elections are approaching.
This comes after discontent was voiced by different stakeholders after one of the leaders of the Swapo party, retired Lieutenant General Martin Shalli, used language that incites violence during a political campaign held over the weekend at Okahandja.
“The Electoral Commission of Namibia has noted with concern a video clip circulated on various media platforms where one of the leaders of the Swapo party, RT Lieutenant General Martin Shalli can be heard using language that incites violence at a recent political campaign event in Okahandja, which was clearly in contravention with the code of conduct for political parties,” Chairperson of the ECN board, Advocate Notemba Tjipueja, said in a statement.
Tjipueja further reminded all competing political entities participating in the 2020 regional council and local authority elections of the importance to the adherence to the code of conduct for all political parties.
“The commission would like to refer all political parties to point five of the code of conduct gazetted on 17 October 1992 under general notice no. 143 which states that speakers at political rallies may not use language which incites violence in any form against any other person or group of persons. Parties will not issue pamphlets, newsletters or posters which contain material which can incite violence,” Tjipueja said.
She added that on 4 November, the commissioned convened a meeting with political parties, associations and independent candidates that will be contesting in the forthcoming elections to urge all political contestants to pledge their commitment to comply with the provisions of the code of conduct throughout the campaign season and beyond.
“Against this background, we urge all political entities to desist from engaging in any conduct or behaviour that would incite violence or violate any of the 16 point guidelines of the Political party code of conduct,“ Tjipueja said.
She added that all political parties, associations and independent candidates contesting in the forthcoming elections should familiarise themselves with the code and said that the commission takes note of the fact that Shali has publicly apologised for his remarks.