Too broke to challenge ­election results

The LPM says it does not have the money to contest the outcome of the 2019 general election.

14 January 2020 | Politics

The Landless People's Movement (LPM) will not be able to make good on its promise to challenge the outcome of last year's general election.

The party had claimed that votes were taken from it and given to other parties following the outcome of the National Assembly and presidential polls held in November last year.

The LPM had alleged that it had evidence of vote-rigging

“We will look at it. Even when you want to challenge you need money. Our party does not have money,” LPM deputy leader Henny Seibeb said.

According to him, the elections were a sham. He said the LPM would do better in tomorrow's by-elections in key constituencies.

“We reject the notion of elections, it was a selection. They will see with these by-elections,” Seibeb said.

LPM leader Bernadus Swartbooi claimed last year to have received information “on good authority” that five Indian nationals had flown into the country and were stationed inside the ECN's head office and at a nearby address in Webb Street in Windhoek North, from where election results were allegedly manipulated.

Swartbooi claimed information obtained indicated that the electronic voting machines (EVMs) were “essentially irrelevant”, because an “alternative and parallel” system had been designed and constructed “solely for the purpose of rigging the elections in favour of Swapo and those they nominated and selected”.

“In essence, therefore, the 2019 elections in Namibia, as in other elections before, have become not an election, but a selection process conducted from State House and spearheaded by cyber-criminologists from various countries (sic),” Swartbooi charged.

The LPM said it was reliably informed that the so-called cybercriminals - or hackers - used a GAP computer after the results had been manipulated and loaded onto the ECN's server with a USB device.

The LPM garnered 38 956 votes in the National Assembly election, helping it secure four seats. Swartbooi garnered 22 542 votes in the presidential election.

Independent candidate Panduleni Itula has approached the Supreme Court to challenge the outcome of the presidential election.

His case will be heard on Friday. His court submission includes a 126-page affidavit and annexures outlining why the presidential election results should be nullified. He wants the court to order a rerun as soon as possible.

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

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.

Two of the missing machines were found in Havana in Katutura in mid-December last year.

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