29 Nov 2015 18:00pm
WINDHOEK, 29 NOV (NAMPA) A group of political leaders from various opposition parties in Okahandja brought a petition to the Electoral Commission of Namibia (ECN) on Sunday to stop the announcement of results of the 2015 Okahandja Local Authority Election.
However, Director of Elections, Paul Isaak refused to receive their petition.
The group claimed that some party agents acted as polling officials at various polling stations during the 2015 Regional Council and Local Authority Elections on Friday.
We believe that their presence there directly or indirectly influenced canvassing of votes, as they were observed calling and greeting voters known to them as they entered the polling stations, said the groups spokesperson Kito Paulus, who is the Secretary for Mobilisation for the Rally of Democracy and Progress (RDP).
She told Nampa at the ECN offices that incumbent Swapo councillor for the Okahandja Constituency, Steve Biko Boois voted at three different polling stations within the town and nothing was done to stop him.
Two party agents from the RDP and one from the United Party Movement (UPM) made sworn declarations to the Namibian Police Force (NamPol) on Saturday that they have seen Boois voting at those polling stations.
DTA of Namibia Acting Secretary-General, Elma Dienda also confirmed that the party received complaints from their Okahandja members on the matter.
Paulus further said that election materials were removed from Ourora and Epandula fixed polling stations to the Okahandja Town Hall for printing, and the results were never pasted on those polling stations as required by law.
In terms of the Electoral Act, it is required that after the voting process is completed, counting should start immediately at the respective polling stations. Results should then be pasted at the polling station for public viewing and all machines should be secured before being transported to the main counting place where verification should take place.
She added that some people were not allowed to vote even if they were registered to do so.
Approached for comment, Isaak explained that the reason why he refused to receive the petition is because the group did not follow the right procedures.
He explained that the group was supposed to air their grievances or rather hand over their petition to the Presiding Officer in the Okahandja Constituency since it was a Local Authority Election, and also write their grievances in an occurrence book which are at all polling stations.
The occurrence book is to record problems experienced at the polling stations during elections.