We don't play politics – ECN

ECN head Theo Mujoro has laughed off suggestions that AR's application to participate in this year's elections was being treated with a pinch of politics.

21 July 2020 | Politics

OGONE TLHAGE

WINDHOEK



The Electoral Commission of Namibia (ECN) yesterday scoffed at suggestions by the Affirmative Repositioning (AR) movement that its applications ahead of this year's elections were being treated with political motives.

The ECN said the law requires it to scrutinise each application with a high degree of seriousness, and AR applications are no exception.

“We don't play politics at the ECN,” the electoral body's chief Theo Mujoro told Namibian Sun yesterday. “We are currently reviewing a number of new applications from political parties and associations. Each application is being carefully analysed in line with Section 148 of the Electoral Act. It's a painstaking and cumbersome process, but I am satisfied with the progress we have made thus far,” he said. AR has experienced a setback in its attempt to register as an organisation with ECN as it prepares to compete in the local and regional elections slated for later this year.

AR Windhoek branch chairperson Bernadine Johannes has accused the commission of deliberately “shifting the goalposts”, making it harder for the movement to register and field candidates in the upcoming elections.

On Friday, Mujoro informed AR that two applications received from its Windhoek and Walvis Bay branches were identical.

“You have indicated that you have received two applications for registration of organisations with identical constitutions, names and symbols. You did not indicate when these applications were received by the ECN. It did not occur to us that the ECN does not treat each application on merit,” Johannes replied to Mujoro on the same day.



Only concerned with Windhoek

“You only indicated that you received similar applications in Windhoek and Walvis Bay. You do not indicate that you received two applications in Windhoek with the same name, constitution and symbol,” Johannes wrote further.

“We applied for Windhoek and are only concerned with Windhoek; what happens in other local authority areas, where the voters are distinct and indeed not the same, has nothing to do with our application, which should have been treated on its individuality and merit.”



Symbolism

The movement also questioned why its symbol had not been approved, but that others, particularly for Swapo and the Rally for Democracy and Progress, were.

“At the centre of the symbol is a young person, representing the youthful energy and activism and the urgent need to represent the youth who are hit hard by poverty, unemployment and inequality supervised by the corrupt regime,” Johannes said.

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