Katima Mulilo-The president of the National Democratic Party (NDP) Martin Lukato claims the Electoral Commission of Namibia (ECN) is not an independent body because it is “controlled by Swapo”.
Lukato says the fact the director of the ECN is appointed by the president serves as as advantage to the ruling party as it means the electoral commission will always favour Swapo.
“My party and other parties that don’t have any seat in parliament don’t want the current Electoral Act to be used in the 2019 elections, because it is unjust – we want it amended,’’ stated Lukato.
He says the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Constitutional and Legal Affairs should table a motion in parliament to have the Electoral Act amended.
“We want a new commission which can treat all political parties equally, so that we will also be able to campaign in all corners of the country – we want the resources to be shared equally,” stressed Lukato. He added that if the Act is not amended then the next elections should be supervised by the UN.
He is also of the opinion that the ECN always just comes to life when it is time for elections.
“Currently they are doing nothing, they are just a tool for Swapo,” asserted the NDP leader.
Contacted for comment the ECN director Paul Isaaks dismissed Lukato’s allegations, saying the commission is an independent body that is not biased and doesn’t practise favouritism in any way.
“Maybe he is not familiar with the Electoral Act. In the Act it is clearly stated in section 3 that the ECN is an independent, transparent and impartial organisation. So there is nowhere in our operations where we favour one political party or other political parties,” elaborated Isaaks.
He further highlighted that Lukato being a political leader normally attends meetings organised by the ECN, and “he knows that no one is getting preferential treatment, but all are treated at meetings and in our operations on an equally basis. So I will not agree with such an assessment,” he added.
Lukato, who claims to have more than 60,000 supporters countrywide, recently also claimed he has thus far injected N$5 million into his party which he claims he sourced from farming projects.
He is confident that “if the next elections are free and fair” he will secure a parliamentary seat.