Over 3 000 election officials recruited by the Electoral Commission of Namibia (ECN) for the upcoming elections will not be needed anymore because some parties will not contest certain constituencies.
No elections will be held in 26 constituencies as well as five local authorities during the elections next month because opposition parties did not field candidates in the areas.
This means the uncontested constituencies and local authorities will be under the control of Swapo Party for the next five years because it is the only party that fielded candidates in those constituencies and it automatically wins them by default.
ECN chairperson Advocate Notemba Tjipueja said during a press conference yesterday that none of the 11 000 people who applied for a temporary job during the upcoming elections signed an employment contract, hence there will be no legal repercussions. Many of the applicants already have permanent jobs in various government ministries.
The ECN stressed that no elections would be held in the uncontested areas and that resources allocated to those areas would be “realigned to other places”.
Only Swapo managed to field candidates in all 121 constituencies and 57 local authorities.
Opposition parties previously claimed the
N$2 500 registration fee for the regional council elections was too much, while others said they would rather be strategic and choose areas where they have support instead of wasting resources by fielding candidates in areas they do not enjoy support.
Despite the ECN making a clarion call on all parties last month to avoid last-minute submissions of their candidates, the electoral body said there were parties that waited until the last day to submit nominations.
Meanwhile, ECN’s director for operations Theo Mujoro said preparations for the upcoming elections are about 87 percent complete and that voter education sessions planned for the constituencies that will not be contested have been cancelled.
According to information provided by the ECN, eight parties will contest the regional council elections, namely Swapo, Swanu, DTA, Nudo, United People’s Movement, United Democratic Front, Rally for Democracy and Progress (RDP) and the All People’s Party (APP).
The constituencies won by Swapo already, simply because no other party is contesting them, are Eengodi, Guinas, Nehale LyaMpingana, Okankolo, Olukonda, Omuntele, Onayena, Oniipa, Onyaanya (all in Oshikoto Region); Anamulenge, Elim, Okahao, Onesi, Oshikuku, Otamanzi, Outapi, Tsandi (in Omusati); Okaku, Okatana, Okatjali, Ondangwa Rural, Ompundja, Uukwiyu, Uuvudhiya (in Oshana); Epembe (Ohangwena) and !Nami#nus (//Karas).
Oniipa, Omuthiyawiipundi, Okahao, Outapi and Tsandi are the local authorities that will not be contested and will therefore be under the control of Swapo as well.
The biggest contests during the regional council elections are expected to be in Kunene and Kavango East regions. In Kunene, the DTA and UDF are expected to give the ruling party some competition if past election outcomes are anything to go by. DTA is particularly strong in northern Kunene, while the UDF has been the dominant force in southern Kunene.
In Kavango East, known as the political home of APP, the ruling party will not have it easy come November 27.