PDM threatens to boycott polls ….’partisan’ ECN commissioner irks PDM

Martin Endjala

One name among the members of the Electoral Commission of Namibia cause a major uproar in the National Assembly today.

The vetting and endorsement of the commissioners of the elections body is always a controversial matter in the house and sometimes turns into real election campaigning.

Opposition parties are in the habit of accusing the ruling Swapo Party for filling up the ECN with people sympathetic with Swapo.

The vacancies for ECN commissioners are public advertised and candidates also interviewed publicly.

The opposition parties were particularly irked by one commissioner, who they said served previously as an assistant to the Swapo Party Secretary General.

The Popular Demcratic Movement (PDM) leader, McHenry Venaani went to the extent of threatening to boycott upcoming elections.

“We will not partake in any elections with an appointee with conflicts of interest, election is about confidence,” the official opposition leader said.

Venaani expressed his dismay, arguing that, this is an indication that Swapo wants to rule the country ‘until Jesus comes’, quoting the Prime Minister’s speech she delivered over the weekend during the 62nd anniversary of Swapo.

The PDM leader also took exception to Swapo MP Jerry Ekandjo’s remarks that the national flag of the country belongs to Swapo.

Returning to the ECN commissioner with alleged Swapo connections, Venaani said if the ruling party needs personal assistance to win the elections, no opposition party will go to the polls.

Another opposition MP Inna Hengari concurred with her leader that procedures were not followed in the appointment of the commissioners.

She said they did not even participate in the selection of the names that where later send to

the President to approve the candidate to be presented to the National Assembly for endorsement.

This was however rejected by the Deputy Minister of Works and Transport wapo Party Secretary Generali, who stated that debates should be based on facts, indicating that all processes were followed to the letter.

The matter was still being debated in the parliament.

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