Swapo walks out of ECN meeting

12 Nov 2015 20:30pm
OPUWO, 12 NOV (NAMPA) – Six members of the ruling party walked out of a meeting organised by the Electoral Commission of Namibia (ECN) here on Tuesday after they were requested to remove their party colours.
The meeting discussed matters related to the Regional Council and Local Authority Elections set for 27 November 2015.
These Swapo Party members are candidates for both the Regional Council and Local Authority elections.
Shortly after the start of the meeting, participants were requested by Assistant Regional Coordinator of the ECN in the Kunene Region, Theodor Kazombiaze, to remove the party colours they were wearing.
Only Swapo members were donned in the party’s blue, red and green colours.
These members claimed that they were invited to the meeting telephonically on the day of the meeting, and were not informed of the dress code rules.
After a few minutes of war of words between the Swapo candidates and Kazombiaze, Weich Mupya of Swapo, candidate for the Opuwo Urban Constituency, insisted that they will not adhere to the request.
“I don’t see any logic in us to remove our party colours while everyone had introduced him or herself as a member of their respective political parties.
“Whether I have my party colours on or not, I am a Swapo. Swapo is in me, not in the colours,” said Rex Sheehama, candidate for the local authority councillor election, during the same gathering.
When the regional coordinator of the ECN in Kunene, Ishmael #Ouseb was asked to step in and give direction, he admitted that there were no regulations from the elections’ institution in this regard.
“Ours is just a humble request. Last year we had a similar meeting and we requested it as such and it was adhered to,” Ouseb said.
Mupya then retaliated that the ECN ‘hates’ Swapo colours.
The Swapo representatives then walked out of the meeting but the meeting went ahead as planned.
A member of the National Unity Democratic Organisation (Nudo) of Namibia, Karee Mupya, now wants the ECN to disallow Swapo from taking part in the upcoming elections, unless the party apologises officially to the entire electorate.
Meanwhile, according to Section 101 of the Electoral Act of Namibia as amended, political canvassing is not allowed within a radius of 500 metres from a polling station on the day of voting. Political activities such as wearing party colours and the display of campaign materials are prohibited from this area.