Youth urged to vote in upcoming elections

Learn more about the three levels of government and the importance of regional and local authority elections.

29 September 2020 | Youth


The Namibian constitution establishes three levels of government: central government, regional government and local government.

The president and the members of the National Assembly represent all the people of Namibia. They deal with issues that affect everyone in the nation. But communities also need other government bodies that are closer to them, to focus on the issues and problems of the community.

Importance of regional and local authority elections

The chairperson of the electoral commission of Namibia, Notemba Tjipueja, says regional councils and local authorities form an integral part of the democratic governance system of Namibia.

These structures are responsible for bringing the government closer to the people. Tjipueja describes these local representatives as being “charged with the responsibility of dealing with the ‘bread-and-butter’ issues that affect the ordinary citizens of this country”.

Local authorities have the power to make local regulations on a wide variety of matters. All local authorities must supply water, sewerage and refuse disposal services to communities which have been formally established as residential areas which include neighbourhoods where the local authority has laid out streets and divided the land up into plots available for purchase.

Regional councils work together with the National Planning Commission to implement a development plan that will guide growth and development in each region. Regional councils also help local governments in the region. The president or parliament can assign other duties to regional councils as necessary.

When any local authority is unable to carry out its responsibilities, the central government may take steps to deal with the problem.

Each representative to the National Council will serve on the National Council for five years. The voters in each constituency elect one person to represent them on their regional council. A person who is elected to represent a constituency on the council must go to live in that constituency if he or she is not already resident there.

The most important function of a regional council in the public administration of the country is related to socio-economic planning of the region over which it exercises jurisdiction.

In carrying out this function, a council must work closely with the National Planning Commission (NPC), which has the final authority to plan the priorities and direction of national development.

In the planning of the development of its region, a regional council should take into consideration national planning strategies and targets that have been drafted by the National Planning Commission.

These elections are therefore fundamental for regional and national development, although they do not receive the same attention accorded to the National Assembly and presidential elections.

Difference between regional councils and local authorities

Each regional council must select three of its members to represent the region in the National Council.

Regional Councils have the responsibility to elect members to the National Council, therefore they need to exercise within the region for which they have been constituted such executive powers and to perform such duties in connection therewith as may be assigned to them by Act of parliament and as may be delegated to them by the president.

They raise revenue or share in the revenue raised by the central government within the regions for which they have been established, as may be determined by Act of parliament.

This gives them authority to exercise powers, perform any other functions and make such by-laws or regulations as may be determined by an Act of parliament.

During the election, voters will vote for the candidate they believe will administer their constituency most capably and effectively.

During the first sitting of the regional council, the members will elect three councillors to represent the region in the National Council.

Voters can only vote in the constituency in which they are registered. The candidate who receives the most votes per constituency will be elected to the regional council.

Local Authorities

Elections for local authority councils are held every five years. Local authority elections are held based on party lists, where voters elect a political party rather than an individual.

Local authority councils include all municipalities, town councils and village councils.

These councils are tasked with managing and maintaining the area for which they are established and which they represent.

Their tasks include, for example, the provision of water and waste removal. During the local authority election, you will vote for the political party of your choice.

This party will appoint its representatives to the local authority on the proportional list system. You can only vote in the election if you have lived in the jurisdiction of the local authority for more than one year. The party will receive seats in proportion to the number of votes it received.

Know who you are voting for

Voter education with respect to the work of the local authority and regional council elections, as well as the voting process for this level of governance, is often limited.

According to the Market Watch, an insert in the daily’s of Namibia Media Holdings, the Electoral Commission of Namibia (ECN) does well to inform eligible voters of the requirements to register for the elections, little information is provided on the roles and responsibilities of regional and local authority councillors, Tthe modalities of how these councillors are selected and subsequently elected, and ways in which voters can hold them accountable.

The councils and authorities, too, do not consistently and actively engage the public on the importance of their work.

Therefore, voters are often unsure what they’re voting for, and how their vote in these elections contributes to development in their regions, constituencies and local authorities.

This leads to the disconnection of voters at this level of government.

The corporate communications and marketing manager of the Electoral Commission Namibia, Lina Ndunge, says the ECN is still busy extracting data from the registration process and still does not have clear statics on the number of young people that have registered.

Similar News


Namibia Allied Youth Organisation strikes with essay contest

1 week ago - 20 October 2020 | Youth

Enzo AmueleThe Namibia Allied Youth Organisation (Nayo) recently announced the winners of its just-ended Inspiring Through Literature essay contest, which began during Namibia’s first lockdown...

‘Ons is moeg’ – a force to be reckoned...

1 week ago - 20 October 2020 | Youth

Michelline NawatisesPull quote: “We assure the Namibian people that the measures announced as requested for the implementation will be implemented with commitment and expediency.” Saara...

Psychosocial support unit launched for protesters

1 week ago - 20 October 2020 | Youth

Enzo AmueleThe Namibia National Students Organisation (Nanso), in partnership with Regain Trust, has launched a psychosocial support unit for all protesters of the #ShutItAllDown Movement.The...

Youth must respect elders to succeed – Governor

1 week ago - 14 October 2020 | Youth

NAMPAEEMBAXUOhangwena Region governor Walde Ndevashiya has called on young people in the region to refrain from being undisciplined and insulting and disrespecting leaders if they...

Humanity over everything

3 weeks ago - 06 October 2020 | Youth

Enzo Amuele > Ndelipewa Ndapandula Mungoba, a 19-year-old young lady and a first-year Law(LLB) Student at UNAM was nominated for the AfriYan awards.AfriYan...

Humanity over everything

3 weeks ago - 06 October 2020 | Youth

Ndelipewa Ndapandula Mungoba, a 19-year-old young lady and a first-year Law(LLB) Student at UNAM was nominated for the AfriYan awards.AfriYan Namibia is an African youth...

IPLC Namibia project launched

3 weeks ago - 06 October 2020 | Youth

Justicia Shipena Last week Thursday the ministry of education, arts and culture, in partnership with the Namibian government, United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation...

Griffel deur die chaos

3 weeks ago - 06 October 2020 | Youth

Die 2020 nasionale Griffelkompetisie, geborg deur Waltons, het weereens leerlinge vanoor die ganse land ’n geleentheid gegee om met woorde te woeker en hul kreatiwiteit...

Youth urged to vote in upcoming elections

4 weeks ago - 29 September 2020 | Youth

ENZO AMUELE The Namibian constitution establishes three levels of government: central government, regional government and local government.The president and the members of the National Assembly...

40 years of advocating for children's rights

4 weeks ago - 29 September 2020 | Youth

Last Friday marked an important milestone in the rich history of Lifeline/Childline Namibia (LLCL), which celebrated its 40th anniversary. “Being able to celebrate 40 years...

Latest News

Shifeta: Tourism revival ongoing

19 hours ago | Business

The latest relaxation of travel controls does not mean the end of the International Tourist Revival Initiative (TRI). This is according to tourism minister Pohamba...

Thousands register for phosphate jobs

19 hours ago | Business

ELLANIE SMITWINDHOEKNamibian Marine Phosphate has received more than 4 000 registrations within the first two weeks of its job registration drive in preparation for its...

Ndeitunga warns political trolls

19 hours ago | Politics

KENYA KAMBOWERUNDUPolice chief Sebastian Ndeitunga has warned political actors to avoid insulting others or risk facing crimen injuria charges if their opponents open cases against...

Am Weinberg owner to oppose...

19 hours ago | Business

OGONE TLHAGE - Property owner Archie Graham is opposing the liquidation of the Am Weinberg Boutique Hotel and various other businesses owned by him. Bank...

Agriculture investment declining

19 hours ago | Agriculture

ELLANIE SMITWINDHOEKPublic investment in the agriculture sector has been on a declining trajectory from an average of 4.6% of the national budget 10 years ago...

The ugly face in the...

19 hours ago | Opinion

In modern society, statistics are continually glorified as critical and relevant in determining the scope of the challenges we face.With this in mind, it was...

Tanzania's 'Bulldozer' hopes mega-projects impress...

19 hours ago | Economics

John Magufuli's investments and his refusal to shut down Tanzania's economy this year have buoyed his already strong chances of winning a second five-year term.NAIROBI...

Decentralisation a sore point ...

19 hours ago | Politics

JEMIMA BEUKESWINDHOEKEven though the government’s decentralisation campaign seems to have ground to a halt, the wide array of political players contesting next month’s local authority...

Woman tied up, baby put...

19 hours ago | Crime

ELLANIE SMITWINDHOEKThis past week has once again been plagued by horrific reports of rapes, gender-based violence and assaults.On Sunday, two suspects wearing balaclavas cut open...

Load More