Eba Kandovazu

THE Electoral Court rules that the results of the 2020 Regional and Local Authorities Elections in the Ndonga Linena constituency in the Kavango East region, are null and void and the Electoral Commission of Namibia must do a recount of the votes.

The ruling, made by a full bench consisting of Deputy Judge President, Hosea Angula, Esi Schimming-Chase and Orben Sibeya, also sets aside the swearing in of Swapo Party candidate, Michael Kampota, who was declared the winner. Kampota had 12 more votes than the All People’s Party (APP)’s candidate, Daniel Djami. The two received 1073 votes and 1061 votes, respectively

The application to the Electoral Court was lodged by the APP challenging the Electoral Commission of Namibia (ECN), saying it’s declaration of about 40 ballots as rejected ballots was not factual. The party said that the ballots were made to look spoiled but were not legally spoiled. Windhoek lawyer, Henry Shimutwikeni represented the APP.

APP Secretary General, Vincent Kanyetu, argued in his affidavit that there were ‘serious’ irregularities in the counting of the votes for Ndonga Linena constituency, and that these irregularities had an impact on the outcome of the elections results.

ECN Chief Electoral Officer, Theo Mujoro, says they did not oppose the application, adding that he could not comment on the outcome of the Electoral Court ruling as he had not read the order.

With the ECN not challenging the application, the APP says it would have been important to the court if the ECN had answered to some of the ‘very, serious’ allegations of electoral irregularities in their conduct of the elections in the Ndonga Linena constituency. “The view that the court is persuaded to take is that the Electoral Commission in electing not to answer to the allegations of the All Peoples Party, accepts the
errors and their materiality, and now lies in wait for the court to
exercise its discretion and remedy the quagmire it has created,” Kanyetu says.

Kavango East Swapo Coordinator, Ottilie Shinduvi, declines to comment on the matter. In their relief, APP also wanted the court to declare that the recount of the votes commences not later than five calendar days from the date of the court order, and to be concluded as soon as is reasonable but not later than ten days from the date of the court order.

The party also demanded that its members exercise their rights regarding the recounting as provided for in the Electoral Act 5 of 2014 and that the results of the elections be announced in terms of Section 111 of this act.