Where is our poll fever?

24 September 2019 | Opinion

With the notice announcing the availability of the final voters’ roll to be published in the Government Gazette on 6 November and the period for the submission of candidates for the National Assembly and presidential elections taking place from 1 to 18 October, maybe election fever will finally now be upon us.

The date for the nomination of independent candidates is 16 October. On 18 October the ECN will receive the political party candidates for head of state and National Assembly. On 13 November, voting will take place at Namibia’s foreign missions. Sea-going personnel will also vote on this date. Defence force members, who will be performing duties on election day (27 November), will also cast their votes on 13 November. Having said all that, and with preparations forging ahead, does it really feel like we are going to the polls in a few months? It has been quite a subdued pre-election period so far, by any standards. Will voter apathy be the big winner this time again, as we have seen in recent by-elections? The fact of the matter is that ordinary Namibians are fighting daily battles that have seen elections being pushed to the backburner. And who can blame them. Amid the economic suffering and politicians, as usual, talking a good game and nothing more, what would the best approaches be to ignite some sort of impetus ahead of the 2019 polls? As self-absorbed as politicians are, we have a system of government whose tentacles are felt in every corner of our lives. This is the conundrum we face. We know that politicians are generally full of nonsense, yet when they come with their honey-lipped promises, we are cognisant of the fact that a lack of proximity to power or the right political membership card may have dire consequences. Even basic government delivery is treated as personal packet of sweeties by politicians. Nevertheless, election day is coming, so let us vote wisely and with the future of our country in mind.

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