Election Watch

Promoting democracy in Namibia

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Observing the elections

There will be at least two locally-organised observer missions for these elections, in addition to expected observer teams from the Southern African Development Community (SADC), SADC Parliamentary Forum, African Union and the United Nations.
The Namibia Institute for Democracy (NID) has trained 300 local election observers who will be deployed in all regions for the November elections. The observers are drawn from a number of civil society groups.
The training of the observers covered the voter registration process; administrative details of the election process; implementation of political parties’ code of conduct; the use of government resources; the involvement and conduct of security services; access to resources; and the freedom of individuals and entities to support different parties.
A second initiative is being organized by the churches. The Steering Committee on Church and Elections in Namibia and the Council of Churches in Namibia (CCN) have formed a Joint Election Observation Committee. CCN General Secretary, Reverend Maria Kapere, heads the joint committee.
Chairperson of the Steering Committee, Dr Abisai Shejavali, told the New Era newspaper that the Steering Committee and the CCN will jointly identify members of the clergy and churches to become observers and supervisors in the different constituencies. About 150 people have already been identified for training as observers, but this number is likely to grow.
Observers have to apply to the Electoral Commission of Namibia for accreditation, according to an amendment made to the Electoral Act this year. The Act stipulates that observers must be impartial and independent of any registered party or candidates; be competent and professional; and follow a code of conduct issued by the ECN.
According to the Act, accredited observers can observe the voting, the counting of votes, the determination of the result of a poll, and the announcement of the result. Accredited observers must wear the prescribed identification when undertaking official duties.

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© 2019 Election Watch

Election Watch is a project of the Institute for Public Policy Research in Windhoek, Namibia. Election Watch is funded by the European Union and the Canadian Fund for Local Initiatives.