2 August 2012

Namibia: RDP Takes Demo to All Regions of Namibia

THE Rally for Democracy and Progress (RDP) sent its members from various regions back last week with the instruction that they should start preparing for demonstrations across the country to pressure the Supreme Court to deliver the verdict on the 2009 National Assembly election court challenge.

RDP spokesperson Nghiningilwandubo Kashume yesterday said the intention is to have all regions take the protest action to all magistrate's courts each Saturday wherever possible.

Kashume said the party will know by the end of the week whether all regions are ready, and if so, the demonstrations will start this Saturday.

The party started a peaceful demonstration and sit-in at the Supreme Court in Windhoek on July 15.

It believes that the five judges have reached a verdict but that the court is failing to hand it down due to political interference.

Supreme Court Chief Justice Peter Shivute on July 17 strongly denied any allegation of political or any other interference, and added that since he is part of the bench that heard the election appeal, "which has not yet been finalised", he would not engage in a public debate on the matter.

So far, there is no indication when the verdict will be delivered.

Kashume said the RDP is determined to give notice to the registrar of the Supreme and High courts, Elsie Schickerling, to compel the release of the verdict.

Professor Nico Horn of Unam's law faculty said it could be a worthwhile action since parties involved in a civil or criminal litigation can expect a judgement in reasonable time.

The current Parliament has been in office for three years, and the next general elections are in 2014.

"The longer we wait for a judgement, the smaller the chance that we will find a final solution before the next election," Horn added.

He estimated that should the case be reverted back to the High Court, it could take anything between six months and one year before the case gets onto the court roll.

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