Namibia: Oshakati By-Election Hangs in Balance After Court Challenge

20 August 2019

Ongwediva — The holding of the Oshakati East by-election this coming Saturday hangs in the balance as it awaits the court ruling on Friday on whether to proceed or not.

This comes after the All People's Party (APP) earlier filed an application to halt the preparations for the by-election pending the registration of their candidate Edward Kambwali.

The APP's case will be heard on the eve of the by-election in the Oshakati Regional Court.

The applicant, Tangy Mike Tshilongo, said the party is dragging the Electoral Commission of Namibia (ECN) returning officer for the Oshakati East by-election, Efraim Iyambo, to court for allegedly violating the law when he allegedly illegally refused to register their party contestant on the date the submissions of nominees of candidates ended in July.

Tshilongo said Iyambo refused to register their contestant because the party was allegedly late.

However, Tshilongo maintained that he was well on time as he found the proceedings of the public sitting and nominations of candidates in process.

"The applicant found the returning officer Efraim Iyambo introducing the candidates and the applicant interrupted the respondent to permit him to submit the applicant's nomination of their candidate, but the respondent refused due to the reason that the applicant was late even though the public meeting was still ongoing," said Tshilongo.

He maintains that he would accept being late should he have arrived at 12h00 when the returning officer ended the meeting, however, at the time he arrived at 11h25 the returning officer was still busy.

He further said the extension of time from 11h00 to 12h00 in its own is a violation of the Electoral Act 5 of 2014.

He said by law the sitting was supposed to take place between 09h00 and 11h00.

ECN chief electoral officer Theo Mujoro did not respond to questions sent to him two weeks ago.

Other candidates filtered for the by-election include Swapo's Shikongo Abner, Popular Democratic Movement's Kamati Teophilus, Swanu's Rebecca Kambayi, Congress of Democrats' Iyambo Ilias, Namibia Economic Freedom Fighters' Festus Damomwene Shaduva and Fiina Kuutondokwa Sheehama as an independent candidate.

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