“No stone, no rock, no pebble, no sand grain will be left unturned” Dr Panduleni Itula tweeted on Wednesday, assuring his supporters of his commitment to ensure that they bring the ECN to account for what has been described as discrepancies of note.
Through his attorney Elize Angula of AngulaCo Incorporated, Itula made his intention of contesting the outcome of the elections clear, in a letter addressed to Notemba Tjipueja this week.
“Our client intends to challenge the return and outcome of the Presidential Elections and hereby request access to all electoral material in respect of the 2019 Presidential Elections for purposes of bringing a challenge to the Supreme Court of Namibia in terms of Section 172 of the Electoral Act of 2014,” the letter reads.
The letter goes on to stipulate in detail what materials are requested, which includes “duly authenticated print-out of voting results at each polling station.
Duly completed pre-voting forms with the details of the voter registration cards and signed by each voter, access to all collating machines, servers (database), including all reports filed pertaining to the preparation of electronic voting machines and collating machines and the service for purposes of conducting the Presidential Elections,” among others.
Itula has been vocal about the use of electronic voting machines (EVMs) even before the elections started and took the matter to court to dissuade the Electoral Commission of Namibia from utilising the machines. The timing of his court applications was questioned at the time.
Itula did however, showed up to vote in Katutura, saying that he did so as “I respect the rule of law and I am exercising my constitutional right to vote.”
He further said at the time that he is “exercising a democratic dispensation of justice.”
Itula has said that him using the EVMs “is not a matter of principle, it is a matter of objectivity because when you are casting your vote, you have got no footprint, no trail as to whether you did vote electronically (sic).
There is no evidence whatsoever that will prove it. The only inkling you will get is a little light going up. Now any electronic device can be manipulated; when the light of red goes on you don’t know where the other cables are going to. Whether they are going in the Itula basket, comrade Hage’s or comrade Venaani’s.
But I have to do what is within the law; the judges have decided that is the law, that using the EVM is the rule of law.” Itula said this minutes after voting at his former primary school in Katutura.
“The requested information should reach our offices no later than Thursday, 5 December before noon, failing which we shall approach the Supreme Court to request to review the requested information,” the Independent Candidate’s letter to the ECN concluded.
PDM gets in on the action
Popular Democratic Movement leader McHenry Venaani, leader of Popular Democratic Movement told media on Wednesday that his party, too, are gathering ‘discrepancies’ with how the elections was conducted.
What we are saying is that the ECN did not conduct the elections with the highest form of integrity and transparency.
So, we are saying there is a need to investigate the ECN to check sensitive material for us to make sure the election was conducted in a manner that everyone is satisfied with,” Venaani said. “It remains relevant that we cannot hold elections in this country where we cannot ensure the transparency of the vote. We need to challenge the EVMs in court because they do not ensure the transparency of the vote.”
PDM is working with other parties to challenge the ECN in court about the usage of EVMs. Venaani echoed Itula’s sentiment that there is no transparency when EVMs are used.
IPPR observes a “curious fact”
IPPR, who were among the independent observers during the 27 November election, made the following statement yesterday afternoon: “The result for Windhoek Rural has been changed by the ECN (around 13h00 today) to reflect that the previous result had mixed up the votes of the Independent Candidate and UDF candidate.
This then changes the overall results in the presidential vote – with Dr Itula now topping 30 percent and Apius Auchab losing over 7 000 votes.”
It appears that the ECN had switched around some 7,328 from Auchab Apius and allocated the exact number of votes to Itula.
Namibia Fact Check also made a post on their online post, “CURIOUS FACT? … So, at around 1pm, on 5 December 2019, ECN – Electoral Commission of Namibia had this result up for the Windhoek Rural constituency.
It seems Auchab had been awarded Itula’s votes all along, because all they did today was award the votes to Itula.
This changes everything – the votes and percentages for Itula and Auchab, as well as the overall percentages of all the candidates in the presidential election.”
Attempts to get an official response from the ECN proved futile at the time of going to press.