New Era (Windhoek)

18 December 2013

Namibia: Training for Voter Registration

Keetmanshoop — Training of the 184 registration officers for the 2014 general voters registration campaign in //Karas region started in Keetmanshoop on Monday.

The weeklong training will sensitize registration officials on issues pertaining to voter eligibility and various legal issues pertaining to the election period.

Meanwhile, at a familiarisation meeting on Friday Swapo Regional Coordinator Mathew Mumbala expressed concern at the recruitment of officials who hold senior positions in their various parties.

President of the Democratic Party of Namibia (DPN) Adam Isaacks concurred with him saying it is unethical for the Electoral Commission of Namibia (ECN) to appoint individuals who are influential and active in their parties to run or manage elections, saying registration officials ought to be neutral.

A member of the RDP in //Karas region, Willem Stephanus, highlighted that it is impossible to expect any person to be neutral because each person has an own interest and party which they support.

Stephanus once again called for the release of the Delimitation Report saying it is paramount for political parties to have an insight of the report, as its findings will inform the operations on the ground.

ECN Regional Coordinator for the //Karas region Augustinus Ucham denied claims by political parties and members of the public that the same people are recruited every election and that no proper consultation was done with political parties.

"People must understand coordinators are not responsible for recruitment, that is the job of the head office. But even so you must keep in mind that thousands of people apply for these jobs and if you worked as a voter official then it does not mean you are experienced enough to be a registration official," he said.

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