Tuesday, September 24, 2019

Namibia’s Elections Commission Happy with State of Preparedness for November Polls
Southern Times
Sep 23, 2019
Tiri Masawi

Windhoek - Namibia’s Electoral Commission (ECN) is satisfied with the state of preparedness for the forthcoming Presidential elections slated for November 27.

ECN chief elections officer Theo Munjoro last week told The Southern Times that they had so far registered  1 235  020  potential voters across the country in the forthcoming election where the current President Hage Geingob will be seeking his second and last term of office.

Munjoro said they will be using electronic voting machines to conduct the process despite reservations from some political parties in the previous election.

Namibia was one of the first African countries to embrace EVMs in 2014 in a process meant to improve transparency as well as efficiency in the election running process in line with the Southern African Development Community and African Union guidelines for free, fair and credible elections.

Mujoro also revealed that they were satisfied with the voter education conducted to date and were on the lookout for avenues to continue encouraging Namibians to go and practice their constitutional right come at the end of November.

“The ECN adopted a number of strategies to ensure an all-encompassing approach to engage with all eligible voters and general public through the use of traditional media, ECN’s social media as well as outreach programmes,” he said.

The Namibian electoral chief said they were, however, facing a severe logistics challenge to deal with the election process of deploying agents in the voter registration and education exercise, prompting them to outsource such services.

Munjoro added that as part of the widespread preparations, the electoral body was also using youth ambassadors in all Namibia’s 14 regions to sensitise voters about the importance of voters.

The forthcoming Namibian plebiscite will usher in a new term for the winning presidential candidate, Members of Parliament as well councillors for the various local authorities countrywide.

The ECN state of preparedness also coincided with most political parties finalising their preparations for an all-out campaign period in the battle for parliament.

The ruling Swapo Party recently concluded its electoral college to select potential candidates to represent it in parliament and is expected to launch its election manifesto in the next few weeks.

Key among the targets for most political parties in Namibia is to sell an electoral blueprint that speaks to the recurrent economic challenges as well as unemployment which is affecting mostly the youths and also to find a lasting solution to inequality as well as high poverty levels among the poor and very poor communities.

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