APP pins its hopes on Electoral Tribunal

21 August 2019 | Local News

On Friday the Oshakati Electoral Tribunal will decide whether the Oshakati East by-election will go ahead on Saturday without the APP candidate.

The Electoral Tribunal has set 23 August for the hearing of the matter between Tangy Mike Tshilongo of the All People's Party (APP) and Electoral Commission of Namibia (ECN) Oshakati East returning officer Efraim Iiyambo.

The APP approached the Electoral Tribunal after its candidate, Edward Kambwali, failed to register in time because party representative Tangy Mike Tshilongo showed up late.

The APP is now looking at the court to stop the by-election scheduled for this Saturday.

The deadline for registration was at 11:00 on 15 July, but Tshilongo showed up an hour later, while returning officer Iiyambo was presenting the candidates to the media.

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.

Tshilongo bases his legal argument on section 81(1) of the Electoral Act, which stipulates that a session for the submission of the nomination of candidates should be 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”.

Earlier, Iiyambo had told Namibian Sun that the registration time was sufficient and he had 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 [15 July] I called him again that he must make sure he registers before 11:00,” Iiyambo said.

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

Swapo is represented by Shikongo Abner, while Iiyambo 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.

ILENI NANDJATO

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