THE Electoral Commission of Namibia (ECN) today hosted a briefing with international, regional and local election observers on the state of preparedness of the Commission for the 2019 Presidential and National Assembly elections.
The commission has invited a wide range of international, as well as local observers which include an EU delegation, Friedrich Eibert Stiftung, Konrad Adenuaer Stiftung, NANGOF, IPPR and the Hans Seidel Foundation.
A number of observer missions undertook pre-assessment visits to Namibia and held meetings with the ECN, SADC Electoral Commissions Forum and the Commonwealth of nations.
International observers invited included Commonwealth Secretariat; African Union; SADF Parliamentary Forum and Electoral Institute for Sustainable Democracy EISA.
Chairperson of the ECN, Notemba Tjipueja, during her briefing to the election observers, stated that the ECN’s theme for 2019 elections is aptly titled: “Promoting Inclusive Participation” and is meant to underline the importance of raising awareness to ensure inclusive participation of all groups in the Namibian society, including marginalised minorities, people with disabilities (PWDs), women and the youth.
She stated that the mandate and ultimate objective of the ECN is to deliver an inclusive election process where everyone is able to participate in a free and fair manner.
The 2019 Presidential and National Assembly elections are scheduled to take place on 27 November 2019.
Polling stations will open from 07h00 until 21h00.
In terms of Section 1(3) of the Public Holidays Act, 1990 Act No.26 of 1990, the President determined the Election Day, 27 November, a public holiday for the purposes of the conducting the Presidential and National Assembly elections.
Tjipueja stated that the 2019 Presidential and National Assembly elections got off to a good start with the Special Voting conducted on 13 November 2019.
She added that the election campaigns so far have generally been peaceful and a calm atmosphere has prevailed across the country.
“No incidents of violence or intimidation have been officially reported to the ECN. The ECN is urging every eligible Namibian voter to go in droves to the polling points to cast their votes,” Tjipueja said.
She further assured the observer missions and the Namibian nation of its unwavering commitment to deliver a free, fair, transparent and credible elections to the nation, in the forthcoming Presidential and National elections.
“At the same time, the Commission would like to reiterate the fact that, firstly, this is an opportunity availed to the electorate to elect their representatives at the national level of governance; secondly, that every eligible Namibian citizen has the right to take part in peaceful political activities as provided for in the constitution and that democracy requires an active citizenry because without public participation, democracy lacks legitimacy,” Tjipueja expounded.
She also encouraged political leaders at all levels who have joined the ECN to sensitise the voters and public at large about the Presidential and National Assembly elections.
Tjipueja stated that the presence of local and international election observers will add value to the outcome of the two elections by ensuring that the election process is observed, reassuring and that it will boost confidence of the voters, as well as evaluating the fairness, transparency and credibility of the election results.
“The Commission values your feedback and look forward in receiving your observation reports on the process. On that note, I hope and trust that we shall have a successful 2019 Presidential and National Assembly elections come 27 November,” Tjipueja concluded.