Swapo lost seats due to unregistered voters at Omaruru

09 Dec 2015 08:20am
SWAKOPMUND, 09 DEC (NAMPA) - The Swapo party could have occupied five or six seats on the Omaruru Town Council but most supporters are not registered to vote in the Local Authority Election.
Swapo regional coordinator in Erongo, Phillipus Heita told Nampa on Monday that supporters who were ready to vote could not do so as they are only registered to vote in the Regional Council Election.
Namibians voted on 27 November this year in Regional Council and Local Authority Elections.
The party currently occupies four seats on the Omaruru Town Council, with Hendrina Tuli Maano Gebhardt as mayor deputised by Julia Kahuure.
Mathias Kaluhoni is the chairperson of management committee, deputised by Titus Amashili.
Other members of the town council are Denis Taleni Tjiveza and Thalma van Rhyn from the United Democratic Front (UDF), and Roger Nautoro who represents the DTA of Namibia as an ordinary member.
“Omaruru people were ready to vote for Swapo this time, but most of them walked out of polling stations disappointed after learning they are only registered to vote in the Regional Council Election,” said Heita, adding that voters were not adequately informed to register for both elections.
He said it is the responsibility of political parties and the Electoral Commission of Namibia (ECN) to ensure citizens fully understand what to register for, so that when elections come they can vote accordingly.
Heita said the problem of unregistered voters in both elections was experienced across the Erongo Region.
As such, Swapo will in the next five years make sure supporters are well educated and registered for both elections.
“It is a serious concern that our willing supporters cannot vote because of such a lack of information. So, timely education is really needed.”
In the Regional Council Election, Swapo’s councillor for Omaruru Constituency, Johannes Hamutenya won with 1 420 votes against Christiaan Nanuseb of the UDF who received 678 votes, followed by DTA of Namibia’s Sofia Sanna Paulus with 348 votes and Isboset Vincent Kahua from the National Unity Democratic Organisation (Nudo) with 282.
Director of Elections Paul Isaak said voters were given a chance to register for all elections during the general registration of voters from January to March 2014 as well as supplementary registration held in September this year.
“It could be that some only registered for the Regional Council Election and assume that with that card they can vote in both elections, but there was more room for people to register for the Local Authority Election,” he told Nampa on Tuesday.
Isaak encouraged those who need to register to do so during the next supplementary registration of voters on a date still to be announced.