Article 47 bites back at ECN

06 December 2019 | Politics

The Electoral Commission of Namibia (ECN) has approached attorney-general Albert Kawana for legal advice on how to deal with the situation arising from its enforcement of Article 47 of the country's constitution, amid defiance by the Popular Democratic Movement (PDM).

PDM is trying to send to parliament members contained on its original list from its elective conference, and not the gazetted one where changes were made as part of complying with provisions of Article 47.

According to Article 47, political party members must resign from the National Council, regional and local authority councils and public service upon accepting nomination for parliament.

The ruling party Swapo said its gazetted party list for the National Assembly will remains as it is.

“People resigned at their own accord not knowing how many seats the party will get,” said party executive director Austin Samupwa.

PDM insiders told Namibian Sun that the party informed ECN this week that its candidates who had been on the initial list have now resigned and should therefore be reinstated on the gazetted list as well.

This could mean that some members who had qualified for parliament as per the gazetted list may be replaced by those who feature on the un-gazetted list.

ECN chief electoral officer Theo Mujoro declined to comment on the PDM situation, which he described “tricky”.

“We have written to the attorney-general for a legal opinion on the PDM issue,” he said.

He would not comment any further. Attempts to get hold of PDM leader McHenry Venaani and Manuel Ngaringombe, the secretary-general of the party, were fruitless.

In October the ECN issued a directive that all politicians employed by the public service, National Council, as well as the regional and local authority councils must resign if they wanted to contest for the National Assembly.

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