Windhoek — Regional council by-elections for Gobabis, Keetmanshoop Urban, Khomasdal and Walvis Bay Urban constituencies set for next week Wednesday will cost the Electoral Commission of Namibia N$5.6 million.
ECN Chief Electoral and Referenda Officer Theo Mujoro told New Era yesterday that on average, ECN spends N$1.4 million to hold one by-election.
ECN is also expected to conduct by-elections in Grootfontein, Otjiwarongo and Opuwo.
Next week's by-elections follow last year's resignations of regional councillors Margareth Mensah-Williams of Khomasdal, Hilma Nicanor of Keetamanshoop Urban, Hafeni Ndemula of Walvis Bay Urban and Phillipus Katamelo of Gobabis.
Mujoro further assured the electorate of the ECN's commitment to the delivery of free, fair, transparent and credible elections in the forthcoming by-elections, saying the electoral body is currently busy intensifying voter education activities in the four constituencies to prepare all eligible voters to take part in the upcoming elections.
"We would, thus, like to encourage all eligible voters to go and cast their votes on Wednesday next week in their respective constituencies," Mujoro said.
He said the electoral body has recruited a total number of 20 polling officials, adding that the training of polling official political party agents and representatives of independent candidates will take place simultaneously in all four constituencies from Thursday to Sunday.
Mujoro says the commission will have 53 polling teams, inclusive for all the four buy-elections, and a total number of 73 polling stations combined.
He said the First Level Check (FLC) of the EVMs was conducted on Monday, whilst the setting of candidates was conducted yesterday in the presence of political party agents and representatives of the independent candidates.
Also, he said the commission will be overseeing the dispatch of election material for the by-elections from Sunday.
"All voting material and equipment to be used during these by-elections, including 104 EVM control units and 68 EVM ballot units, will be escorted by the Namibian Police and kept in safe custody at designated police stations before and after the polling process," Mujoro said.
According to the ECN, 13 457 have registered to vote in Gobabis, 11 534 in Keetmanshoop, 25 550 in Khomasdal and 23 169 in Walvis Bay Urban.
According to the ECN, those running for the Gobabis by-elections are Omaheke Regional Information Mobiliser for the Swapo Party Elders Council (SPEC) Elvis Kauesa, who will be contesting for the position with his Swapo comrade Augustinus Tebele, Landless People Movement's (LPM) Sylvester Binga and Popular Democratic Movement's (PDM) Braynie Modise.
For the Keetmanshoop urban constituency are PDM's Abraham /Goagoseb, LPM's Maxi Minnaar and Swapo's Festus Shilimela.
While for the Khomasdal constituency is Swapo's Samuel Angolo, LPM's Bonita Baumgartner and Swanu's Tjiunomuinjo Kauahuma.
In the Walvis Bay constituency, PDM has fielded Richard Hoaeb as their preferred candidate, whereas Swapo has nominated Sirie Topulathana. Kennedy Iilonga and Knowledge Ipinge will be standing as independent candidates.