SWAPO Party candidate Gabriel Matheus has been duly elected unopposed as Oshikuku constituency councillor after the opposition political parties got cold feet and surrendered the race at the last minute on Friday.
The Electoral Commission of Namibia (ECN) concluded the nomination process for candidates for the upcoming regional council by-elections last Friday, where Matheus and two others were supposed to contest.
Amunyela Stefanus, ECN returning officer for the Oshikuku constituency, said Swapo was the only political party that registered their candidate for the nomination process to contest the by-election, hence making their candidate the duly elected councillor for the Oshikuku constituency.
"It was supposed to be a three-man show, where the Popular Democratic Movement (PDM), Swapo and the Rally for Democracy and Progress (RDP) were going to contest the by-elections, but Swapo was the only party which managed to register their candidate," he added.
The PDM and RDP candidates pulled out of the race and never registered, the ECN official explained. Attempts to reach them for comment proved futile.
Matheus, who is a senior education officer under the Adult Education Division in the Omusati region, was elated to be elected as the new Oshikuku constituency councillor, saying that he will serve his people to the best of his abilities, and is willing to work with everyone with dignity.
"I would like to thank the people of the Oshikuku constituency for entrusting me to lead them. I am truly grateful for everything, and I cannot thank them enough. As a councillor, I am ready to serve my people and develop Oshikuku further together with all the inhabitants," he added.
Matheus stated that he aims to develop the constituency by bringing the much-needed services to the community such as land development, youth empowerment and community projects aimed at creating employment.
He replaces Modestus Amutse, the former councillor of the Oshikuku constituency, who resigned from his position in October in order to contest for the just-ended National Assembly elections.
The by-election was necessitated by the resignation of the sitting councillors on 18 October in compliance with section 77 (4) of the Electoral Act No 5 of 2014, and articles 46 and 47 of the Namibian Constitution in order to qualify to be nominated as a candidate on a list of candidates for members of the National Assembly.