Humbled AR to approach High Court

Affirmative Repositioning “acted frivolously” in bringing an application to force the ECN to implement continuous voter registration before the Electoral Tribunal, chairperson Uatjo Uanivi said.

08 October 2020 | Politics

JEMIMA BEUKES

WINDHOEK



Affirmative Repositioning (AR) says it will appeal yesterday's Electoral Tribunal ruling against a movement in the High Court.

The tribunal dismissed an application brought by AR to order the Electoral Commission of Namibia (ECN) to implement continuous voters' registration, as required by the law.

Tribunal chairperson Uatjo Uanivi said the tribunal does not have jurisdiction to entertain the matter, thus dismissing it.

“The movement acted frivolously to bring the application before it and to continue with the matter. The Electoral Tribunal can thus not implement the continued registration. The application is dismissed with costs of one instructing counsel and one counsel,” Uanivi said.

In earlier submissions, AR suggested that the failure to operate this continued registration by the ECN has disadvantaged many eligible voters and made it difficult for them to register to vote.



'Correct in law'

AR legal representative Kadhila Amoomo said the Electoral Tribunal should not consider the technicalities the ECN raised as the grounds on which to base its judgement, but on merits.

AR later on said it remains convinced that they are correct in law regarding this matter.

“It is for that reason that the Affirmative Repositioning movement will continue with speed to launch an application in the High Court of Namibia in order to ventilate these issues,” it said in a statement.

Continuous voters' registration is one of three processes the ECN is mandated to conduct in terms of the Electoral Act and is supposed to take place throughout the year to accommodate eligible voters who fail to register during the other two processes.

Other registration processes are the general voters' registration, which takes place every 10 years, and the supplementary voters' registration, which precedes every election.



No surprise

ECN chairperson Notemba Tjipueja yesterday said the ruling comes as no surprise.

“We are satisfied because we have argued that the tribunal have no jurisdiction and therefore there was no need to review the merit of the case.

“Everything is in order; the ECN will carry on with the electoral process.

The provisional register is laid out for objections for anyone who wants to object to anyone being on that register,” she said.

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