Let us guard our democracy jealously: Tjipueja

10 Feb 2016 21:30pm
WINDHOEK, 10 FEB (NAMPA) – The introduction of electronic voting machines (EVMs) is an honour for the African continent in keeping up with global technology and trends.
This was said by the Chairperson of the Electoral Commission of Namibia (ECN) Notemba Tjipueja during the official opening of the ECN’s 2016 activities in the capital on Wednesday.
Tjipeuja remarked that the concept and use of EVMs have been a great success to the operations and efficiency of the ECN in disseminating election results and information timely and effectively.
“Despite a few minor hiccups, I believe as an institution we have made ourselves and the country at large very proud to have conducted these mammoth electoral processes successfully with the use of new technology,” she said.
The Electoral Integrity Project by international election experts from Harvard University and the University of Sydney rated the ECN amongst the top five electoral management bodies (EMBs) in Africa, with a score of 69 out of 100.
South Africa was rated second, while Tunisia had the highest score of 74.
Tjipueja noted that the ECN still has a lot to accomplish in terms of voter and civic education to emphasise the importance of elections and contributions thereof to the governance and democracy of the country.
She added that electoral integrity must persist over the course of each entire electoral cycle and not just during election days.
“We should strive for the best and live up to being an excellent and independent election institution committed to credible elections,” she said.
Tjipueja noted that the role of the ECN is to promote and deliver free, fair and credible elections towards maintaining democracy, good governance and the rule of law in Namibia.
“We should jealously guard the democratic foundation upon which this nation is built. Let us ensure that we make effort to improve upon and to excel in all our electoral processes to the benefit of our beloved nation,” she said.
Meanwhile, President Hage Geingob on Tuesday stated that Namibia needs robust and independent institutions that are inclusive and transparent in their operations.
“We need processes that will instil confidence in our democracy and that will minimise the risk of rumour mongering and conspiracy theories,” he said during the opening of the Third Session of the Sixth Parliament.
The Head of State singled out the ECN, saying such institutions must ensure that service delivery is not compromised.
“If there is a dispute regarding election results the system must remain intact and the public service should continue to deliver goods and services to the people,” he added.