27 Nov 2015 07:50am
WINDHOEK, 27 NOV (NAMPA) The Electoral Commission of Namibia (ECN) has been recognised for its outstanding achievements by the International Centre for Parliamentary Studies (ICPS) at its International Electoral Awards 2015 held earlier this month.
The recognition is in the Electoral Ergonomy category and is in light of the Namibian 2014 Presidential and National Assembly Elections which were conducted using electronic voting machines (EVMs); a historic first for Namibia and the rest of Africa.
The EVMs will be used for the second time in the Regional Council and Local Authority Elections slated for Friday.
The Antigua and Barbuda Electoral Commission (ABEC) was also recognised in the same category, while the Denver Elections Division of the United States of America was declared the winner of the 2015 Electoral Ergonomy Award.
The ICPS observed the 2014 Namibian elections as having been peaceful, inclusive, free, fair and credible.
The ICPS announced awards in a total of 14 different categories, covering areas such as Electoral Conflict Resolution, Equality, and Citizen's Engagement.
The winners in the various categories included electoral commissions from the United States of America, Nigeria, South Africa, the Philippines and Palestine.
In a media statement issued on Tuesday, ICPS Director Arvind Venkataramana said electoral commissions and their key stakeholders work relentlessly to guarantee that elections are free, fair, equal and safe, and that they put citizens at the heart of the electoral process, allowing democracies to be truly representative.
The ICPS International Electoral Awards 2015 has helped to increase awareness of the work of the international electoral community through honouring their initiatives and achievements, and in so doing, supporting democracy around the world, Venkataramana said.
ECN Chairperson, Notemba Tjipueja said in a telephonic interview on Thursday the international award recognises that the ECN has made a stride forward in delivering credible elections in Namibia.
Our main initiative in this area was the introduction of the bio-metric voter registration which we introduced in the general voter registration and also the introduction of the EVMs, she said.
Tjipueja added that the ICPS also looked at how this introduction increased the participation of the electorate in the voting process, how the EVMs have brought efficiency to the whole electoral process and reduced budget costs, and thus Namibia won the achievement.
The bio-metric voters' register has improved the integrity and credibility of our voters' roll, she said.