By Mathias Haufiku
WINDHOEK-The Rally for Democracy and Progress (RDP) says it did not challenge the results of last year’s Presidential and National Assembly elections because it did not have evidence to present in court since the electronic voting machines had no paper trail.
“How can we challenge the results if we do not have evidence, the paper trail was supposed to be our evidence,” the party’s secretary for information and publicity Jeremiah Nambinga said on Sunday during a press conference at the party’s headquarters in Windhoek.
At the gathering, Nambinga also claimed that the Swapo-led government allegedly decided to use the electronic voting machines without a paper trail to destroy the RDP and said it could not challenge the poll outcome because it had no evidence to substantiate its claims that the elections were rigged.
“The EVMs were introduced to deal with RDP because we are the worst enemy of Swapo. If there was no RDP there would be no EVMs,” said Nambinga.
Nambinga was responding to question by New Era as to why the RDP failed to challenge the poll outcome in the recently established electoral court if it is convinced the elections were rigged.
He said the EVMs were partly to blame for RDP’s dismal poll showing last year where it lost its official opposition status to DTA.
The party’s representation in parliament also shrunk from eight seats to three.
Consequently, the party announced that its president – Hidipo Hamutenya – will step down this month, following calls for a younger person to take over and inject a new lease of life into the weakening party.
Nambinga claims RDP is the only party feared by the ruling party.
He said the party’s National Executive Committee has been instructed to come up with strategies related to campaigns for the upcoming regional and local authority elections slated for later this year.
Commenting on electronic voting, RDP Secretary General Mike Kavekotora remarked: “EVMs are like a gambling machine, the owner always wins.”
Last month, Deputy Chief Justice Petrus Damaseb, who also serves as the chairperson of the electoral court, said no appeals were made against last November’s general elections results.
Overwhelmingly, Swapo and its presidential candidate Hage Geingob won the mandate to rule for the next five years – with both winning with record votes.
Last year when the Electoral Bill was tabled in the National Assembly, RDP was one of the opposition parties that strongly objected to the use of EVMs without paper trail, claiming the absence of paper evidence dents the transparency and credibility of the elections.
The RDP led a coalition of opposition parties who sued the Electoral Commission of Namibia (ECN) over what the 2009 general elections which they claimed were rigged.
The case was dismissed by the courts.