Supreme Court to hear EVM case in January

31 December 2019 | Politics

The Supreme Court yesterday set 17 January 2020 as the date on which it will hear the challenge by independent presidential candidate Panduleni Itula over use of EVMs in the November 27 general election.

This was confirmed by the government attorney, Matti Asino. ECN declared President Hage Geingob the winner of the November 27 presidential election, garnering 56.3% of the presidential vote, while Itula secured 29.4%. Early this month Itula announced his intention to appeal to the highest court in the land and included a 126-page affidavit and annexures outlining why the presidential election results should be nullified and a re-run organised as soon as possible.

Itula cites the recent revelation by the ECN that EVMs booked out for the Swapo Party Elders Council (SPEC) congress in 2017 had gone missing.

“Since July 2017 up to the presidential election in 2019 there thus existed ample opportunity for gaining intimate knowledge of the machines' hardware and software.

“The risk of discovering means of tampering with the EVMs is real, as lawyers and politicians pointed out immediately when the news first broke in October 2019.

“They cautioned that the election could be rigged and the integrity of its outcome would become questionable.

“Yet, the self-same models of EVMs were used one month later during the 2019 elections. This without the safeguards parliament enacted, a verifiable paper trail,” said Itula in his affidavit.

Itula is being supported in his court bid by Republican Party (RP) president Henk Mudge, Namibia Economic Freedom Fighters (NEEF) president Epafrans Mukwiilongo, All People's Party (APP) president Ignatius Shixwameni and Rally for Democracy and Progress (RDP) president Mike Kavekotora, who appear as applicants.

Popular Democratic Movement (PDM) president McHenry Venaani, the leader of the official opposition, said his party had in the meantime consulted its lawyers in preparation for challenging the National Assembly election results.

The PDM won 16 seats in the National Assembly after scoring 16.60% of the vote - its best electoral performance since the 1994 election.

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JEMIMA BEUKES

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