ECN announces election dates

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Windhoek

Over 1.2 million Namibians have registered to vote in the one-day Regional Council and Local Authority elections slated for November 27, the Electoral Commission of Namibia (ECN) announced yesterday.

Officials who will be on duty on election day, including coordinators, assistant coordinators, returning officers, presiding officers, polling officers and police officers, will be allowed to vote earlier – on November 23.

ECN Chairperson Notemba Tjipueja made the announcement yesterday at a press conference and assured the nation that the electoral body would be ready to conduct successful elections.

She said the due date for the nomination of independent candidates for regional councils is October 14, while for political parties it is October 16.

“In order to avoid a last-minute rush on the final day of nominations, the ECN is urging and encouraging political parties to submit their nominations well before the final day. The request is meant to afford political parties ample time to attend to possible corrections and to ensure that all the required nomination documents are submitted in time,” said Tjipueja.

She said the printing of ballot papers would be completed by October 6.

Tjipueja also indicated that the ECN would need 2 857 vehicles for the polls.

“Vehicles for the elections should be secured by 9 November. The ECN has submitted the transport requirements to the government and we are currently awaiting confirmation from various government ministries to that effect,” she said.

She said private citizens would be contracted should the ECN fail to acquire the required number of vehicles to assist with the transportation of personnel and election material.

She also mentioned that additional training would be accorded to officials to avoid delays and queues experienced during last year’s National Assembly and Presidential elections.

Despite complaints last year regarding the portable document format [PDF] in which the electronic voter register is presented, the ECN has refused to change the format, citing security reasons.

Parties claimed that the format in which it is presented is not user-friendly because they have to search through the register manually.

“Believe me you can access the register with ease because it is in alphabetical order. It is presented in PDF for security purposes so that people cannot manipulate it,” said ECN Director 0f Operations Theo Mujoro.

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