Namibia: More Parties Sign ECN Code of Conduct

21 November 2019

FIVE more political parties have signed the Electoral Commission of Namibia (ECN)'s electoral code of conduct for political formations in addition to the Swapo Party and the National Democratic Party, the ECN confirmed on Wednesday.

On 29 October, opposition parties and the independent presidential candidate for the upcoming Presidential and National Assembly elections staged a walk-out at the signing of the code of conduct.

Responding to questions yesterday, ECN corporate communications officer Vikitoria Hango said among those that went back to sign the code of conduct were the United Democratic Front of Namibia; Workers Revolutionary Party; National Patriotic Front of Namibia; Swanu of Namibia; Namibia Economic Freedom Fighters and the Christian Democratic Voice Party.

An election code of conduct is a set of rules of behaviour for political parties and their supporters relating to their participation in an electoral process, to which parties are expected to adhere.

Before the walkout, the political parties said it was an infringement of their rights if they were to sign a document they are not familiar with and a betrayal of those who died for the country.

During an election observer briefing yesterday, election observers questioned the repercussions of the political parties refusing to sign the code of conduct.

Responding, ECN chairperson Notemba Tjipueja said the ECN has reiterated the importance of political leaders signing the code of conduct, which also ensures that their members act accordingly.

"However, there are electoral offences in the (Electoral Act) and whether the parties have signed (the code of conduct) or not, they are still liable to the code of conduct and they can be charged with electoral offences if they do not comply," Tjipueja said.

She added that the code of conduct is a critical part of the electoral process, especially to ensure peaceful elections.

- Nampa

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