Electoral Court delays ECN election re-run plans

Andrew Kathindi

The re-run of polls in the Aroab, Koës, Stampriet local authorities and Mariental Rural constituency is likely to be delayed with the Electoral Commission of Namibia (ECN) still to receive reasons for the Electoral Court’s judgement given last week.

According to the body, the judgement will determine whether or not it will appeal the ruling or comply with the court’s decision.

This comes as Electoral Court Judge Shafimana Ueitele ruled that the results in the local authorities and constituency be declared null and void and that a re-run of the poll be conducted.

Judge Ueitele gave the order without providing ECN with the reasons, but had said this would be done by Tuesday 15 December, which according to ECN, has not yet been done.

“Unfortunately, we haven’t received the reasons yet. They haven’t finished with the reasons. We don’t have the reasons for the judgement,” ECN Chairperson, Advocate Notemba Tjipueja told Windhoek Observer.

When quizzed on whether the ECN would appeal the decision by the Judge to pay the amount each of the participants in the re-election after the ECN was ordered to pay each political party or independent candidate re-participating in the election an amount of N$50,000 in respect to the election for member of the Hardap regional council and an amount of N$25,000 in respect of election for a local authority council, Tjipueja had said that they would need the reasons for the judgement before making a decision.

On when the elections will be held, Tjipueja again referred to the lack of reasoning for judgement.

“We are not sure, we need to consult our stakeholders. But now, it’s possible it will be next year because there’s very little time left now. We have to gazette the dates and so on, it won’t be possible this year. Next week is already festive holiday. And we need to get those reasons to be able to finalize everything. So, it will have to be next year, however we haven’t fully decided. We don’t have a date yet.”

She further added, “In the meantime, we’re still trying to plan ahead.”

Judiciary has not indicated when the reasons for their judgement might be provided.

Tjipueja was however reluctant to blame the uncertain date for the re-run of the elections in those regions on the delay in receiving the reasons from the court.

ECN Chief Electoral Officer, Theo Mujoro, last week argued that the ECN could not pay any amount to political parties as it was not in the commission’s budget or mandate to fund political parties.

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