Comprehensive electoral calendar for Elections 2024 launched

Niël Terblanché

The Electoral Commission of Namibia (ECN) has officially unveiled the 2024 Electoral Calendar, Democracy Building, and Awareness Campaign alongside the Service Charter.

The launch is an essential element for Namibian democracy and it is also a significant stride towards the strengthening thereof and ensuring efficient electoral processes.

The ECN’s Chairperson, Dr Elsie Nghikembua, said at the launch that the Electoral Calendar presents a detailed roadmap of all electoral activities slated for the year, encompassing the pre-election phase, the election phase, and the post-election phase.

Nghikembua underscored the essence of the Calendar in facilitating meticulous planning, coordination, and execution of critical electoral milestones, including the General Registration of Voters (GRV) and the management of the actual polls.

“These events are our opportunity to empower Namibians, enabling them to exercise their democratic rights and shape our nation’s future,” she said.

According to the Chairperson, 2024 marks a significant year as it sees the renewal of the national voters’ register, a decennial requirement under the Electoral Act No. 5 of 2014.

All eligible citizens are expected to re-register during the GRV to participate in the forthcoming elections.

This year’s registration process will leverage the Integrated Mobile Voter Registration System (IMVRS), a technological enhancement aimed at streamlining voter registration, political party registrations, and election results management.

Nghikembua also confirmed that the ECN would retain manual ballot voting methods for the 2024 Presidential & National Assembly Elections, emphasizing the commission’s dedication to conducting transparent, fair, and credible elections.

The Minister of Urban and Rural Development, Erastus Uutoni, noted that Namibia, alongside South Africa, Botswana, Mauritius, and Mozambique, is set to conduct elections this year, highlighting the critical role of democracy in societal development and the importance of active citizen participation in the electoral process.

The minister expressed concerns over voter apathy, as evidenced by a low turnout in the 2019 elections, the ECN has adopted a Civic and Voter Education Awareness Strategy aimed at bolstering electoral democracy.

He said the campaign seeks to enlighten eligible voters about the importance of registration and voting, intending to enhance voter participation and ensure that elections are reflective of the people’s will.

“In addition to the electoral preparations, the ECN has introduced a Service Charter to enhance service delivery and underscore its commitment to conducting the electoral processes with utmost integrity and accountability,” he said.

The key statutory dates announced for the electoral activities include the GRV from 3 June to 1 August, the nomination of independent candidates on 14 October, and the national polls set for 27 November 2024.

According to Uutoni, the launch of the Electoral Calendar and accompanying initiatives represents a monumental effort by the ECN and all stakeholders to fortify Namibia’s democratic framework.

“The campaign represents the nation’s commitment to ensuring that every eligible citizen is empowered to participate meaningfully in the electoral process, thus contributing to the shaping of Namibia’s democratic future,” he said.

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