Sunday 20 June 2021
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37 apply to become electoral commissioners


The parliamentary committee tasked to nominate eight persons, who will serve as electoral commissioners for the next five years, this week selected their preferred eight electoral commissioners.  From 37 applications, the committee selected eight nominees – opting to reappoint five of the incumbent commissioners. The Patriot can reveal that the committee that was headed by National Assembly Speaker Professor Peter Katjavivi decided to reappoint Ulrich Freyer, Nespect Salom, Barney Karuuombe, Notemba Tjipueja and Albertina Nangolo. The additional members are Elsie Nghikembua, Lischen Ramakhutla and Moses Ikanga. All these nominations are, however, still subject to President Hage Geingob’s approval. Katjavivi was not available yesterday when contacted for comment.
According to the list of applicants which this publication has obtained, some of those who applied to be appointed as commissioners include former Road Fund Administration CEO Penda Kiiyala, Oshikuku Town Council CEO Julia Kakwambi-Nakale, Namibia Broadcasting Corporation’s Head of Legal Services and Company Secretary Steven Ndorokaze and former personal assistant to the National Assembly Speaker Simon Uirab. The country’s official opposition, DTA of Namibia, yesterday said the successful candidates should be credible people who uphold the principle of integrity. “At this point in time our electoral system is compromised and voters have lost faith in it that is why many opt to stay away from the polls,” said the party’s chairperson and parliamentarian Jennifer van den Heever. She said opposition parties have also lost faith in the country’s electoral process because of the manner in which it is conducted.
“We want people who can address the issues of electronic voting machines. When we have our election workshops with the ECN, as opposition parties we inform them of our concerns, of which one was the EVMs (Electronic Voting Machines). We were made to believe that EVMs are a swift process, just to find out that during elections it took three days to verify the results, how transparent is this?” she questioned. She also questioned why party agents are not permitted to be present during the verification of votes.

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