Namibia: Opposition Question Poll Outcome

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Namibia flag (file photo).
2 December 2019

Windhoek — Opposition leaders have accused electoral body, Electoral Commission of Namibia (ECN) of alleged widespread irregularities in the National Assembly and Presidential elections won by Swapo and its presidential candidate President Hage Geingob.

ECN on Saturday evening declared Geingob and the ruling Swapo party the winner of the elections, with Geingob winning the presidential race with 56.3 percent, while the ruling Swapo garnered 65.5 percent.

Geingob received 464 703 votes, while Swapo gathered 536 861 of the national votes and received 63 parliamentary seats. In the 2014 elections, Swapo won 715 026 (80 percent) and Geingob 772 528 (87 percent) of the popular vote.

Of the over 1.3 million registered voters, only 826 198 (60.8 percent) voted in the Presidential election, while 820 227 (60.4 percent) voted in the National Assembly elections.

A majority of opposition leaders, including PDM leader McHenry Venaani, independent presidential candidate Dr Panduleni Itula, Landless People Movement (LPM) leader Bernadus Swartbooi and Rally for Democracy (RDP) leader Mike Kavekotora, among others, all shunned the official announcement of the election results.

PDM Vipua Muharukua, addressing the media outside the electoral body Headquarters on Saturday night, alleged irregularities in the counting of votes in both elections.

"The PDM and I believe too many other parties are not prepared as yet to accept the results of this elections as free and fair. Quote me correctly, we are not prepared to accept these elections as free and fair," he alluded.

Similarly, Kavekotora said the party planted reliable party cadres at various polling stations across the country, and the strategy proofed beyond reasonable doubt that the electronic voting machines (EVMs) are pre-set and results are predetermined.

"I as the RDP president voted at Rocky Crest High School with a group of 20 RDP cadres. The result from that polling station was given and/or announced as ten votes for the RDP. What could that be? Day-light robbery and mockery to the electoral process that is deemed and hailed to be free and fair," Kavekotora said addressing the media.

He also alleged that some polling stations had more voted figures recorded on the EVMs than those that were recorded on the register.

"At these stations, the EVM records where considered to be more reliable and accurate votes. The manual records were ignored and disregarded," he said while addressing the media on Saturday before the announcement of the results.

Correspondingly, Swartbooi also accused the ECN of partnering the ruling Swapo in rigging the outcome of the elections.

At a press conference on Friday, Swartbooi claimed he has been reliably informed by friends in Swapo that there were foreign nationals (Indians) who were brought into the country to manipulate the outcome of the elections.

He said his party agents have uncovered a plot by Swapo and the PDM to allocate National Assembly seats to political parties.

"Votes are being increased in favour of Swapo and Geingob, and reduced for other candidates. For example, apparently Swapo won Erongo Region, but according to our calculations, Itula has the majority as presidential candidate," he said.

He said the EVM system used by the ECN is below standard and cannot be used successfully in any election campaign.

"The setup is extremely non-compliant with the rules, as it is prone to security risks and it is not safe. The voter's choice is not a secret as is stipulated in the law; thus, his/her constitutional right suffers," said Swartbooi.

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