Activists kicked out of ECN symposium

23 Oct 2014 11:50am
WINDHOEK, 23 OCT (NAMPA) - Two activists were kicked out of the electoral symposium held at the Electoral Commission of Namibia (ECN) head office in Windhoek on Tuesday.
Hewat Beukes, the president of the Workers Revolutionary Party (WRP) and August Maletzky, the director of the African Labour and Human Rights Centre were kicked out of the one-day meeting after they interrupted a session on the Electronic Voting Machines (EVMs).
The EVMs will be used in the Presidential and National Assembly elections on 28 November this year.
The two were ordered to leave the venue shortly after ECN Director, Professor Paul Isaak gave an overview of the objectives of the symposium and the credibility of the EVMs.
“These machines are fraudulent,” Beukes said before he left the venue.
Speaking to members of the media, Beukes questioned the credibility of the EVMs and alleged that it was introduced by the Swapo-Party and not the ECN.
“Swapo met with Indians to negotiate the machine process,” Beukes said.
Meanwhile, the chairperson of the ECN board Notemba Tjipueja assured all political parties attending the symposium that the upcoming general elections will be conducted in a free and fair manner with the use of EVMs.
The EVMs are standalone machines which consist of two parts, namely the ballot unit which will be used by the voter and the control unit which will be handled by a trained official.
They were manufactured by a company called Bharat Electronics in India and were customised according to Namibian standards of conducting free and fair, elections and complies with all legal requirements on election management.
Over 50 representatives of political parties, civil society organisations, the media and other dignitaries attended the symposium.
The symposium was held under the theme 'Consolidating Namibia's Democracy -Go Vote, your Vote Counts'.