ECN to recommend amendments to Electoral Act

10 Feb 2016 19:30pm
WINDHOEK, 10 FEB (NAMPA) – The Electoral Commission of Namibia (ECN) will have a consultative workshop on 01 and 02 March to consider amendments to the Electoral Act.
ECN chairperson Notemba Tjipueja said during the official opening of the ECN for 2016 in the capital on Wednesday the ECN is required to compile and submit to the National Assembly a performance assessment report on elections conducted, which includes recommendations and amendments deemed necessary to enhance election processes in future.
“It is against this background that the commission will be conducting a two-day workshop with all relevant stakeholders to present and also deliberate upon draft regulations that will regulate election processes in future,” said Tjipueja.
The Electoral Act no 5 of 2014 came into operation in October 2014 and amongst other things makes provision for the use of a Voter Verification Paper Audit Trial (VVPAT).
Some of the issues to be discussed during the workshop are the VVPAT and the regulating of political party finance.
“The introduction of the Voter Verifiable Paper Audit Trial is another electoral process that is a high priority for the commission. All relevant stakeholders shall be consulted during the process of developing a VVPAT system to meet Namibia’s needs,” she said.
Tjipueja added that the compilation of the statutory annual report, including any outstanding reports, should be finalised for submission to the National Assembly before the end of July this year.
“Although the ECN is an independent body established in terms of the constitution, this institution follows some Government policies and rules, and the performance agreements are one of the issues that remain a high priority to Government,” she said.
Tjipueja further said the ECN is not exempt from performance agreements, and as such the institution must follow suit in introducing performance management systems.
“The performance agreements must be aligned to the ECN strategic plan which currently requires a review, taking into consideration the additional responsibilities bestowed on this institution,” she said.
Approached for comment, the ECN’s Chief Electoral Officer Paul Isaak said some clauses in the Electoral Act need to be scrutinised more to avoid contradictions in future.
“Even the situation of the political party finance and funding; it is currently Parliament that is giving the funds to these parties, but according to the Electoral Act the ECN should be the auditing organisation, so things need to be corrected and we have to update certain things,” said Isaak.