A letter co-authored by Popular Democratic Movement (PDM) Secretary General Manuel Ngaringombe on 22 October 2019, reveals that it was indeed the official opposition party that requested changes to its 2019 National Assembly list.
The content of the letter is in contradiction to an earlier claim by Ngaringombe that the ECN disqualified and removed some names on the now “controversial” list, despite fierce petition from the party.
The letter was addressed to the chairperson of the Electoral Commission of Namibia (ECN) Notemba Tjipueja.
It has now emerged that PDM’s Ngaringombe gave clear instructions for some names to be removed from the list as they did not meet the requirements under the law.
According to Section 77 (4) of the Electoral Act, all politicians serving as elected officials at regional and local authority levels should resign from their positions if they are to be nominated as candidates to the National Assembly before an election.
The letter was also signed by a representative of the United People’s Movement (UPM), which formed a political coalition with PDM before last November’s elections.
On Tuesday, Ngaringombe told CND-News that the ongoing confusion over who is to represent the party in the new National Assembly to be sworn-in next month, was engineered by the ECN.
He maintained that the party never changed the initial list it submitted to the ECN and that the latter altered the list and gazetted a new list without the disqualified names.
However, the letter he wrote to the ECN reads in part:
“Following your decision, dated 03 October 2019, (regarding Compliance with Section 77 (4) of the Electoral Act, 5 of 2014,) the PDM is left with no choice but to withdraw the following names from the PDM-UPM Joint National Assembly list…”
These withdrawals and including that of Reggie Reginald Diergaardt who was at number 15 on the list, saw youthful politicians Nanguvei Charmaine Tjirare, Hidipo Hamata, Yvette Araes, and Max Katjimune appearing on that list at positions 12, 13, 14 and 16.
PDM which obtained 16 seats in those elections, wants to operate on its initial list submitted to the ECN and not consider the gazetted list.
This forced Tjirare, Hamata, Araes and Katjimune to write to the ECN through their lawyers demanding that the gazetted list be considered to include them in the new National Assembly.
ECN Chief Electoral and Referenda Officer Theo Mujoro told CND-News that in adherence to the Electoral Act, PDM provided a list of candidates for the nomination process, stating under oath that the candidates qualify.
He added that the process of nomination was then completed and the election held.
According to Mujoro, after the election, the Electoral Act does not provide for the process of filling of seats a party won in the National Assembly and that such decisions are to be made by the party.
Below is the list of names withdrawn by from the PDM-UPM National Assembly list as per requested by the parties. Photos: Contributed