Swapo blasts ECN, boycotts recount
21 September 2021 | Politics
The ruling party has taken serious issue with the Electoral Commission of Namibia’s (ECN) decision to recount ballot papers for the Ndonga Linena local authority elections, in which Swapo’s Kampota Shiwana was erroneously allocated as the winner.
The ECN said only a rerun can restore the credibility of these elections, which the High Court declared null and void last month.
The court further ordered that the recount be conducted and results be announced within the next 20 days.
All this emanated from an aggrieved All People’s Party (APP) who took the ECN to the electoral court earlier this year disputing the Ndonga Linena results.
APP was adamant that 40 of the 57 rejected ballots announced at the time should have not been rejected because the voters’ intention was to pick their candidate, Djami Daniel, who lost by a mere 12 votes.
At first, APP only wanted the court to grant them an order to access the election materials in order to prove that some of rejected ballots should have been counted in their favour.
That order was given in August, however, to APP’s surprise, 53 of the 57 spoilt ballots could not be traced.
It was on that basis it again approached the court for a recount.
A default judgement was given in the APP’s favour because ECN failed to oppose the application.
As a press conference held yesterday, Swapo secretary-general Sophia Shaningwa said this is nothing but an organised agenda to tarnish the good image of the ruling party, whom the ECN now wants to use as a scapegoat.
Swapo is convinced that remarks by the ECN outgoing chairperson, Advocate Notemba Tjipeuja, that Swapo was wrongly declared a winner at Ndonga Linena, points to an agenda perpetrated against the party.
According to Shaningwa, ECN was in charge of these elections and must answer to the “serious and material proof that there are irregularities committed here”.
“The Swapo Party will not take part in this process of recount as the credibility of the Ndonga Linena regional council election appears to be compromised and there seems to be a well calculated agenda against the Swapo Party. The words of the outgoing chairperson have already prejudiced the Swapo Party. Swapo Party will therefore only participate if real credible processes aimed at rectifying the wrongs done in Ndonga Linena are undertaken, such as a full rerun of the election process,” Shaningwa said.
“The Swapo Party Political Bureau would like to equivocally rebuke, reject and denounce such malice and irresponsible alleged statements with all the contempt they deserve. It is our conviction that the real agenda in this matter is a political agenda aimed at tarnishing the good image of our Swapo Party,” she added.