APP on warpath over late candidate

16 July 2019 | Politics

The All People's Party (APP) is threatening to stop the Oshakati East by-election after its candidate Tangy Mike Shilongo failed to register in time.

The deadline for registration was at 11:00 yesterday, but Shilongo only showed up an hour later, while Electoral Commission of Namibia (ECN) Oshakati East returning officer Efraim Iiyambo was presenting the candidates to the media.

According to section 81(1) of the Electoral Act 5 of 2014, a session for the submission of the nomination of candidates endures from 09:00 until 11:00, “but if at the last-mentioned hour any person present is then ready to submit the nomination of a candidate or a person has so submitted the nomination, but it has not been completed, the returning officer for the constituency must continue the sitting to enable the candidate to be duly nominated”.

The APP secretary-general Vincent Kanyetu said either the ECN allows their candidate to register or they will stop the election from taking place.

“It is true that our candidate showed up late for registration, but the Act is still clear that a candidate can still register between 11:00 and 12:00. We are waiting for them to inform us on the way forward, otherwise we are approaching the court to stop the election, so that everything starts over again,” Kanyetu said.

Iyambo said the registration time was sufficient and he made sure that all those who declared an interest were registered.

“Shilongo first started complaining about the road to Ompundja that it was not good so that he could come collect the registration form. About two weeks ago I took the form to their house. This morning (yesterday) I called him again that he must make sure he registers before 11:00,” Iyambo said.

The by-election was necessitated by the death of Oshakati East constituency councillor Lotto Kuushomwa, who passed away on 27 May.

Iyambo announced that six candidates have registered for the by-election scheduled for 24 August.

Swapo, the Popular Democratic Movement (PDM), the South West Africa National Union (Swanu), Namibian Economic Freedom Fighters (NEFF) and the Congress of Democrats (CoD) have registered candidates, while an independent candidate is also taking part.

Swapo is represented by Shikongo Abner, while Iyambo Ilias is the CoD candidate.

The PDM has selected Kamati Teophilus as its candidate, while Rebecca Kambayi is the Swanu candidate and Shaduva Festus Damamomwene will stand for the NEFF. The five are joined by independent candidate Fiina Kuutondokwa.

Iyambo urged the candidates to go out and campaign, in order to make sure the voter turnout is satisfactory.

He said training for voter officials will take place from 16 to 22 August, while election materials will be received on 23 August.

He added there will be 21 polling stations in total.

During the 2015 regional and local authority elections, out of 17 630 potential voters, only 5 881 cast their votes in Oshakati East. The late Kuushomwa won the election by garnering 5 559 votes, followed Daniel Andreas from the PDM with 241 votes.

Natangwe Shiwayu from the Rally for Democracy and Progress (RDP) garnered 81 votes.


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