Electoral Commission of Namibia Chairperson, Notemba Tjipueja (left) shakes hands with Swapo Secretary-General Sophia Shaningwa. Photo: ECN

The Electoral Commission of Namibia (ECN), has urged the media and civil society organizations to help in educating and sensitizing Namibian voters on the upcoming general elections later in November.

This is according to the ECN Chairperson Notemba Tjipueja during the nominations of candidates for the 2019 Presidential and National Assembly Elections on Friday.

“I would like to urge the civil society and the media to join us in this worthwhile partnership of sensitizing the public in general and the eligible voters, in particular, about election related matters for the 2019 General Elections,” said Tjipueja.

She added that as stakeholders, both the media and civil society can do so by sharing in the excitement that only comes around every five years.

“You are thereby hopefully helping the ECN in achieving a record voter turnout, which is good for this young and vibrant democracy of ours.”

Tjipueja at the event expressed gratitude to all political parties and independent candidates taking part in a democratic process and for making the electoral body’s work easy.

“I would like to extend my sincere gratitude to all the registered political parties and independent candidates who are taking part in this democratic exercise of nominating candidates for the 2019 Presidential and National Assembly elections.

“We are very pleased to note that most political parties have taken the opportunity to engage the ECN early enough on the nomination process. This has given us time to complete the requisite administrative processes regarding the verification of nomination documents.”

Tjiueja further discussed Section 77(4) of the Electoral Act relating to the eligibility of candidates for the nomination on party lists for the National Assembly elections, as this has become a bone of contention recently.

The section indicates that members of the National Council, regional councils or members of a local authority to be elected for a seat in the National Assembly.

“Section 77(4) (a) of the Electoral Act similarly excludes such persons from nomination on the list of candidates for the National Assembly, as this exclusion is consistent with the Constitution.”

She added: “In practical terms, this interpretation places such persons in a difficult position of having to decide whether to resign their positions, in order to be eligible as candidates for the National Assembly”.

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