Swapo Party Youth League (SPYL) Secretary Ephraim Nekongo says he will look into the concerns by Namibian students abroad who might not vote next week due to financial constraints.
This comes hot on the heels of a request by Namibian students in different provinces in China for assistance to enable them to travel to Beijing in order to vote in the upcoming National Assembly and Presidential Elections.
Namibians living and studying abroad as well as seagoing personnel, are expected to cast their votes on November 13, two weeks before polls open nationwide in Namibia.
The Namibian Embassy in Beijing has since maintained that it does not have money to cater for those living outside Beijing and requested the students and other Namibians who need assistance to request for funding from their political parties.
The mission further said it has received a request for such assistance from the students belonging to the SPYL and have forwarded that request to Swapo in Windhoek.
Speaking to CND-News on Thursday, Nekongo expressed readiness to engage the students in the diaspora on their concerns regarding the voting next week.
“The responsibility to ensure that voting takes place should not be placed on political parties. That is the responsibility of the Electoral Commission of Namibia (ECN),” explained Nekongo.
“I have not received any request for such assistance from the students, but I would like to assure the students and any youth abroad who might be facing similar challenges to engagement my office and I will take it further up with the ECN,” he added.
Nekongo added: “We are encouraging those who are out there and able to vote to really go out there and vote next week.”
He stressed that he will take the matter up with the students in China to try and see what solutions can be reached to ensure these Namibians participate in exercising their democratic right.
During an earlier interview with CND-News, Willy Ndilimani Iipumbu Munenguni who is the SPYL student leader in China said it is crucial for Swapo to support the request by the students in the spirit of ensuring that party cadres support the party at the polls.
“Since of political affiliations, the request was directly designed for SPYL members and not others who may not belong,” said Munenguni.
“While waiting for the official response now from the secretary general we also look into the provisions of Electoral Act which states that the diplomatic mission may establish temporary… mobile polling stations in cities where other eligible citizens resides.”
*This is a developing story*