NA endorses reappointment of commissioners

25 Jul 2016 10:40am
WINDHOEK, 24 JUL (NAMPA) - The National Assembly (NA) has approved the reappointment of Electoral Commission of Namibia (ECN) commissioners for another five-year-term, despite initial objections by some opposition party members regarding the timing of the motion.
The appointment was proposed by Prime Minister (PM) Saara Kuugongelwa-Amadhila on Thursday, the last day of the NA Parliament session, as an urgent motion.
Former Acting Executive Director of the Namibia Institute of Public Administration and Management (NIPAM), Elsie Nghikembua was appointed as new electoral commissioner, while Advocate Notemba Tjipueja, Albertina Nangolo, Barney Karuuombe and Ulrich Freyer were reappointed.
All People’s Party president Ignatius Shixwameni felt there was nothing urgent enough about the appointments for it to be brought to the House last minute as the members were supposed to be given time to consider the appointments.
The DTA of Namibia’s Vipuakuje Muharukwa echoed his disagreement on the urgent motion as citizens are also entitled to be present to object to appointments in Parliamentary Standing Committee on Privileges meetings.
The criteria for membership of the commission is determined by Parliament’s Standing Committee on Privileges.
Kuugongelwa-Amadhila explained that the urgency of the motion is due to the fact that the five office-bearers’ tenure in office ends on 01 August 2016.
“To invoke the parliamentary standing committee cannot undo what has happened. What can be done is to consider in future strengthening the law and if need be, consider actions to hold those who were responsible to bring this appointment to the house in time, accountable in ensuring that the process is concluded in time,”she stated.
The standing committee was tasked to nominate eight people to serve as electoral commissioners for the next five years.
Tjipueja is currently the chairperson of the ECN; while Nangolo, Karuuombe and Freyer are members of the commission.