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ECN prepares for by-elections

ECN prepares for by-elections

Niël Terblanché

The Electoral Commission of Namibia (ECN) is currently busy with the preparation of Electronic Voting Machines (EVM’s) for the Regional Council by- elections for the Gobabis, Khomasdal, Keetmanshoop Urban and Walvisbay Urban Constituencies which will take place on 15 January 2020.


The preparation of the EVM’s entails the setting of the candidates while political parties and the Namibian Police keep a close eye on the process.


The training of polling officials for the by elections will commence on Thursday 9th January and will last until 13 January 2020.


In a statement the ECN said that the by-elections were necessitated by the resignation of the sitting councillors on 18 October 2019 in compliance with section 77 (4) of the Electoral Act, No. 5 of 2014 and Article 46 and 47 of the Namibian Constitution in order to qualify to be nominated as candidates on the list of candidates for the members of the National Assembly.


Photo: Contributed


According to the statement the supplementary registration of voters for the four constituencies was conducted from 1 to 2 November 2019, with the provisional voters register having been displayed for inspection on the 5th of November for public scrutiny and objections against the names of persons included therein.


“No Objectionas were recorded. The final voters’ registers for Gobabis, Keetmanshoop Urban, Khomasdal and Walvis Bay Urban Constituencies were published on 20 December 2019.”


As a result Gobabis has 13 457 voters on the roll, Keetmanshoop Urban has 11 534 voters, Khomasdal has 25 550 voters while Walvis Bay Urban has 23 169 voters on the register.


The ECN indicated that it has recruited 260 polling officials for the by-elections while the training of polling officials, party agents and representatives of independent candidates will take place later this week.


The electoral commission will have 53 polling teams that will do service at 73 polling stations during the by-elections.


The commission will oversee the dispatch of election materials for the by-elections from 12 January. The material will include 104 EVM control units and 68 ballot units and these machines will be kept in safe custody at designated police stations before and after the polling process.


The ECN said in the statement indicated that voter education will be intensified in the four constituencies to prepare all eligible voters to take part in the elections.


“The ECN would like to encourage all eligible voters to go out and cast their votes on 15 January 2020 during the by-elections in their respective constituencies.”


In the same vein the commission said that it wants to assure the electorate of its commitment to the delivery of free, fair and transparent elections in the forthcoming by-elections.

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