RDP slams electronic voting machines

10 July 2019 | Politics

The Rally for Democracy and Progress (RDP) says it will not hesitate to boycott Namibia's upcoming elections if necessary to object the use of electronic voting machines (EVMs).

At a press conference held yesterday, newly elected RDP secretary-general Brunhilde Cornelius called on all Namibians, especially the youth, to ensure they are registered to vote in the November elections.

Cornelius said the party was on record as saying that it had no confidence in the use of EVMs, which it labelled an “Indian cheating machine.” “What we have observed is that the EVMs are not fair, not credible and not transparent. The 'Indian cheating machine' makes no provision for the use of a voter verified paper audit trail (VVPAT),” she said.

Despite these concerns, the public had been told that the machines were efficient, reliable and faster than counting paper ballots.

She claimed that even the Swapo Party, “the owner of this suspicious electoral process, rejected the EVMs at their congress in 2017. Why? Because the system cannot be trusted in the way of allocating the voter to the candidates or parties.”

Cornelius said the RDP, together with “likeminded parties”, would leave no stone unturned to stop the use of EVMs in Namibia's electoral system. She added that at “an appropriate time, RDP will not hesitate to boycott the elections if the use of EVMs is not stopped.”

The secretary-general appealed to all RDP members and the public in general to ensure they make use of the supplementary voter registration being done this month.

She said instead of posting complaints on social media, the youth should help bring meaningful change to the political landscape of the country by registering and voting. She said the RDP was aware of frustrations among Namibians who have threatened to boycott the elections. “To those, RDP has this to say: The more you deny yourself a right to vote, the more unemployment and poor quality education remain the same. The health sector will continue to deteriorate, lack of housing will remain the same and corruption will remain rampant.”

She added that those who don't vote would ensure that people continue to live on dumpsites.

Cornelius emphasised that change can only come through voting.

JANA-MARI SMITH

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