THE Chief Electoral Officer at the Electoral Commission of Namibia (ECN), Theo Mujoro, says the ECN will comply with the Electoral Court’s order to recount the votes cast in the Ndonga Linena Constituency during the 2020 Regional and Local Authorities Elections.
Responding to Windhoek Observer’s queries, following Swapo’s threat to boycott the recount, Mujoro says logistical arrangements are currently being put in place to ensure a transparent and credible recount process in line with the court order. “We have noted the press release issued by the Swapo Party touching on a number of issues. A comprehensive response will be provided tomorrow to address the concerns raised and to share detailed information regarding the recount exercise,”he says.
Swapo Party says it would not be participating in the recounting of votes but would only participate if there is a regional council re-election. The swearing in of Swapo Party candidate, Michael Kampota, was subsequently nullified. The High Court’s ruling follows the All People’s Party application, challenging the ECN’s decision to declare over 40 ballots as spoiled.
“The Swapo Party shall vehemently refuse to be used as a tool for validating unlawful acts. If ECN could not invite Swapo Party when they
accessed officially sealed materials as stipulated in the law, why should it be important now for Swapo Party to participate in activities where provisions of the law have been broken and not adhered to, as stipulated in the electoral law?
The Swapo Party will not take part in this process of recount as the credibility of the Ndonga Linena Regional Council Election appears to be compromised and there seems to be a well calculated agenda against the Swapo Party,” Secretary General Sophia Shaningwa said at a press conference.
Shaningwa also alleges that there is a “well calculated” agenda against the party taking issue with outgoing ECN Chairperson, Notemba Tjipueja’s recent comment in the media, that the ECN wrongfully declared Swapo Kampota as the winner, adding that Tjipueja’s words have already prejudiced Swapo.
“Swapo Party will therefore only participate if real credible processes aimed at rectifying the wrongs done in Ndonga Linena are undertaken, such as a full re-run of the election process. These pronunciations are not only reckless, but are farfetched and have compromised the ECN as a truly professional body that is delivering professionally driven election results to the Namibian people. Such a reckless statement is trying to portray a negative image around the matters concerning the
elections in Namibia, ” Shaningwa says, questioning Tjipueja’s agenda.
Previously, the High Court had ordered that the APP be allowed to access the ‘spoiled’ ballots. Shaningwa is dismayed, saying that the access to the said ballots was done without any representation from the party.
“The Swapo Party seal was unsealed by persons not known to Swapo and our agents were not invited to observe the process. It is alleged that there were only four ballot papers for APP, and the Swapo Party was not invited to remove, unseal or cut its own seal from such boxes. The question is, how did the ECN and APP manage to open the ballot boxes without the presence of Swapo Party agents?, ” Shaningwa questions.