Namibia: Cold Start for By-Elections Voters Registration

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THE Electoral Commission of Namibia's regional coordinator in the ||Kharas region, Augustinus Ucham, said only 46 people were registered during the recently concluded supplementary registration of voters to participate in the by-elections next year.

In an interview with Nampa on Sunday, Ucham said out of the 46 who registered, 44 were new applicants, meaning those constituents who had turned 18 after the last elections in 2014, while the other two had had a change in their residential addresses.

The supplementary registrations started on Friday, and ended on Saturday.

Ucham said there were three teams who registered people at seven points - Westdene Stadium, Keetmanshoop Public Library, Tseiblaagte Community Hall, the Youth Centre, the Namibian Defence Force base, the Namibian Police cells and the Namibia Correctional Facility.

The supplementary registrations were necessary for the Keetmanshoop Urban constituency following the resignation of Hilma Nicanor, in compliance with Section 77 (4) of the Electoral Act, No 5 of 2014 and the Namibian Constitution, in order to qualify for nomination as a candidate for the National Assembly.

Nicanor is in the18th spot on the National Assembly list of the ruling Swapo Party.

The by-elections are scheduled to take place in January next year.

Meanwhile, at Gobabis, a total of 264 people were registered at the town on Friday and Saturday during the supplementary registration of voters to take part in the Gobabis by-election slated for 15 January 2020.

The registrations were necessitated by the resignation of Gobabis constituency councillor, Phillipus Katamelo.The Electoral Commission of Namibia (ECN)'s regional coordinator in the Omaheke region, Pederius Tjihoreko, told Nampa in an interview on Sunday the subsequent results of the supplementary registrations were satisfactory.

"I am extremely happy because we need to bear in mind that we have concluded the supplementary registration of voters on 27 July 2019 and against that background, we did not expect a big number of voters to turn up," said Tjihoreko.

Six teams of polling officials registered voters at four registration points at the Gobabis - Epako Community Hall, Rakutuka Primary School, Gobabis State Hospital and at the Gobabis Police Station.

When Nampa visited the registration point erected at the Rakutuka Primary School in Gobabis, the team leader, Frans Amunyela, told this agency the majority of the registrations they had done were those of new applicants.

He further said although there were no challenges faced during the registration process, some people walked away without being registered after they were informed that the supplementary registration of voters only allowed them to participate in the by-elections for councillors and not in the presidential and National Assembly elections set for 27 November.

The supplementary registration of voters were meant for new applicants, people with lost or damaged voting cards as well as those who have changed their residence or names.

Other constituencies where by-elections will be conducted are Khomasdal, Oshikuku and Walvis Bay Urban.

- Nampa

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