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Ondangwa by-election gets off to slow start

Ondangwa by-election gets off to slow start

Maria David & Placido Hilukilwa
THE turn out of voters in the Ondangwa Urban constituency by-election has started at a slow pace on Saturday morning causing doubt that all 16 000 registered voters will cast their votes at the end of the election process later on Saturday at 21:00.
Electoral Commission of Namibia (ECN) Coordinator for this election, Rauna Nkandi has confirmed the turn outs in this election is so far very low.
“I expected at least half of registered voters to participated in this election, but by looking at the picture now am doubting that we will be having a satisfactory number at the end of the end,” said Nkandi.
She indicated that low turn outs has been experienced in the morning hours at all 21 polling stations. However, Nkandi expressed hope of more voters towards the evening hours as it has been the trend in the previous elections where long queues are experienced in last minutes.

Pictured: Voters in the Ondangwa by-election casting their votes. – Photos: Maria David & PLacido Hilukilwa

“We know some of the people are perhaps still at work and will come after they knock off or some are still coming,” said Nkandi.
Preceding Officer at Oluno Community Hall Hilja Katonyala has express satisfaction with the turn outs at her voting points, saying 100 people have already cast their vote at 10:59 and more were coming in one by one.
Meanwhile ABC open marketing polling station’s preceding officer Jakob Namupala said the turn outs is moving on a slow pace with only 66 people voted at that station by 10H40.
“So far only one person was rejected, as he lost his card,” said Namupala, adding that only Congress of Democrats (CoD) political agent could not show up to represent the party.
Furthermore, the polling stations of Danger Ashipala and Omashaka polling stations were very low, with John Iyambo at Danger Ashipala polling station expressing hope of more turn outs during the cause of the day.
Beside Mandume Andreas of CoD, Leonard Negonga of the ruling Swapo party, Johannes Martin of Popular Democratic Movement (PDM), Vicent Asser of All People’s Party (APP) and Angeline Immanuel as an independent candidate are contesting for the position of new councillor for Ondangwa Urban constituency.
Ondangwa Urban Constituency of the Oshana Region is currently without a councillor, following the appointment of the former councillor Elia Irimari as the governor of Oshana Region in March.
By 12:30 a total of 1 300 voters have cast their ballots at all 21 polling stations.
Returning officer Rauna Nkandi said she is still hopeful that the numbers would eventually increase when people knock off from work in the afternoon.

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