Youth leaders say 200 000 supplementary voters not worth celebrating

30 Jul 2019 08:20am
WINDHOEK, 30 JUL (NAMPA) – Youth league representatives on the local political scene dismissed the overall turnout of the supplementary voters’ registration that ran from 08-27 July 2019, describing it as not worth celebrating.
According to preliminary figures by the Electoral Commission of Namibia (ECN), a little over 200 000 voters registered during that period.
This is 100 000 voters short of the 300 000 the commission had targeted at the start of the supplementary registration. It includes people who turned 18 since the last election in 2014.
“The number is not satisfactory at all, but is relatively okay. I know there are many Namibians out there who qualify to vote but did not go out to register,” Ephraim Nekongo, the Swapo Party Youth League (SPYL) secretary told this agency on Monday.
“It’s not just about having a voter’s card. You must put that card to good use. Go out there in big numbers and vote,” he appealed.
Agreeing with Nekongo, the Rally for Democracy and Progress (RDP)’s Marvin Veseevete said democracy will only prevail if each Namibian who is 18 and older participates in this democratic process in order to address the issues of the day.
Swanu’s Brian Ngutjinazo pinned his disappointment on ECN’s “cumbersome and slow voter’s registration process”, which might have discouraged some people especially the youth to participate. He added that the registration period was also very short.
Bensen Katjirijova of the Popular Democratic Movement (PDM) called on the ECN to explore alternative mechanisms in order to extend registration or create a second phase for supplementary registration of voters.
“When we look at these numbers, we are happy and satisfied with the number that we captured,” ECN Chief Electoral Officer Theo Mujoro said, noting that ECN benchmarks its process to that of other countries in southern Africa.
“When you look at the Southern African Development Community countries, you will notice that the general trend is that the national voters are always about 50 per cent of the total population,” he said.
With an estimated population of around 2.3 million inhabitants, Namibia’s voters registered currently stand at 1.2 million, which is satisfactory according to Mujoro.