A number of political leaders yesterday expressed satisfaction with the electoral process.
They said despite some minor issues encountered at polling stations, they were largely happy with the overall performance of the Electoral Commission of Namibia (ECN) for its conduct of the regional council and local authority elections.
Popular Democratic Movement (PDM) leader McHenry Venaani yesterday said apart from the photo of their candidate in Omatako constituency that did not appear clearly on the ballot and the Swapo billboard that was found to be within a distance of 15 metres from a polling station at Katima Mulilo, he was content with the process.
The leader of the Independent Patriots for Change (IPC) Dr Panduleni Itula also expressed satisfaction with the process, saying his encounter at the Mandume Primary School polling station, where he was initially denied preferential treatment to vote, should be seen as a "human error". The IPC leader, who cast his vote in Katutura East constituency, said the ballot paper system was much smoother and faster compared to electronic voting machines that were used in last year's general election. He said although there were long queues of both young and elderly citizens, he added elections are complex processes. "We are still satisfied; our authorised person is in contact with all our agents but we are 95% satisfied with the process," he said. Affirmative Repositioning leader Job Amupanda, who is a candidate vying for a seat on the powerful City of Windhoek local authority council, also commended the process as smooth, adding there was an element of quality assurance in place. However, he was worried about the long queues at polling stations, saying frustrated voters were likely to return home.
"Some people cannot stand for too long, hence they are likely to go back home without casting their vote, especially now that they are standing in the sun," he said.
Meanwhile, the ECN chairperson Notemba Tjipueja said the ECN was alarmed by allegations made by the Landless People's Movement leader Bernadus Swartbooi about drugs being distributed to ECN election officials in order to impair their ability to effectively administer the polling process.
"These allegations are false and devoid of any truth. We thus strongly call on political stakeholders to refrain from creating such falsehoods as this has the ability to cause confusion and anxiety amongst voters," she said.
"This is very serious misinformation which is meant to mislead the electorate and cause alarm amongst the general public. We strongly condemn such destructive acts meant to discredit the ongoing electoral process and demand that LPM desists from continuing with such behaviour, which is in contravention of the Electoral Act."