Monday, November 24, 2014

Namibia: Opposition parties goes to court to stop Friday's elections

THE Rally for Democracy and Progress, the Workers Revolutionary Party and an active lay litigant in Namibia's courts, are calling for the Electoral Court to stop the national elections at the end of this week.
The case in which the RDP, WRP, lay litigant August Maletzky and his organisation, the African Labour & Human Rights Centre are trying to get the election put on hold until February next year is due to be heard in the electoral Court in Windhoek on Tuesday.

The two political parties, Maletzky and the centre, want the court to declare all the by-elections and elections of 2014, where the voters had to use EVM's so far, as null and void, direct the Electoral Commission of Namibia (ECN), which is the first respondent, to run a transparent and credible election on or before the end of February 2015 or within a reasonable time period as the court sees fit. They also want ECN to discontinue the use of the EVM's without the utilisation of a variable paper trail for every vote cast by a voter, amongst other demands. The applicants have also named all the other fourteen other parties as respondents in the application, as well as the government, which is the second respondent.

In an affidavit filed with the court, Maletzky claims that the use of EVMs without a verifiable paper trail would leave the door open for election rigging.

Maletzky claims that “in view of previous elections characterised by election fraud and rigging by the Ruling Party Swapo, and the Election Commission of Namibia, the sinister and scandalous motives underwriting the deliberate purchase of these EVM'S become clearer i.e. to rig the elections”, (sic) he said.

Reacting to the application, Law Reform and Development Commission chairperson Sacky Shanghala on Monday said their application was totally “outlandish to say the least”.

“They participated in the previous by-elections so there's no urgency in the application,” he said yesterday.

The Namibian

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