LPM retains seat in Keetmanshoop by-elections

Stefanus Nashama

The Landless People’s Movement (LPM) has retained its Keetmanshoop Rural Constituency Council seat, after the party’s candidate, Willem Labuschagne scored the victory in the by-elections held on 15 May.

This was announced by the Electoral Commission of Namibia (ECN) yesterday morning, declaring Labuschagne as the overall winner after scoring 1 270 votes.

Swapo’s candidate Elias Kharuxas came second with 872 votes while the Independent Candidate Gerrit Witbooi got 463 votes.

Witbooi was the previous rural constituency councillor for Keetmashoop from 2020 until this year February when the LPM expelled him, alleging that his conduct was toxic to the party’s values and team spirit and that he was in conspiring with opposition parties to tarnish the party’s name.

The two candidates, Johannes Eiman for Popular Democratic Movement received 275 votes while Staden Van for Independent Patriots for Change got 32 votes.

6 675 residents registered to vote in the Keetmanshoop Rural Constituency by-election but only 2 912 voted with 16 votes rejected. According to ECN, this translates to a total voter turnout of 43.8 percent.

Labuschagne said he will bring development to the constituency, change politics into positive leadership, help the residents to attain a better life and fight corruption.

Labuschagne said he will not discriminate against the residents because of their political choice.

“Let us all do the best for our country since we are all Namibians,” he said.

According to Labuschagne, the by-election was free and fair yet with minor incidents of Swapo and ECN agreeing on things without consulting other parties.

“Swapo should know that LPM is here to stay,” the newly elected councillor said

He urged the government to fairly allocate funds to all regions for better development in the country.

Labuschagne has since appealed to the Keetmanshoop Rural residents and the party to vest their trust in him and work closely with him for better service delivery.

Yesterday, Witbooi said the election was free and fair on the side of ECN, however, he pointed out disappointment with the political leaders and people who threatened to cause violence.

“I do not like that kind of behaviour because it is not good in the image of democracy,” he said.

Witbooi remained confident and promised to work hard for the residents of Keetmashoop saying political commitment is in his blood and that he will always stand up for the people.

IPC National General Secretary, Christine !Aochamus, congratulated Labuschagne on his victory

“Each vote is a voice and choice and despite challenges brought by the ECN, political parties were committed to the democratic process,” she said.

Meanwhile, PDM also congratulated LPM for retaining its governance in the Keetmanshoop Rural Constituency, however, the party said the low voter turnout should be a concern for all political parties while calling on all political parties to work hard to restore voters’ confidence.

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