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Opposition application dismissed on technicalities

Both Judges Damaseb and Parker found technical issues to rule the opposition's application inadmissible. Essentially the opposition's lawyers didn't follow proper procedures on filing applications - coming 90 minutes after the deadline and then seeking to amplify points in the original submission later and in a manner not deemed acceptable. They also did not attempt to explain their failures to follow procedure by seeking the 'condonation' of the court.

A contributor to this site's companion Facebook page (search for Election Watch Namibia), Gregor Dobler, neatly summed up Judge Parker's findings:

Judge Parker found that, according to procedural rules which bind the court, the documents of the case were handed in after the deadline (16.30h instead of 15h on Jan 4). He did not accept the applicants' argument that the acceptance of the papers by the assistant registrar was sufficient. He states that, according to the Rules of Court, the registrar could only accept papers after 3pm "under exceptional circumstances".
These "exceptional circumstances" have to be substantiated by the applicants, not only inferred by the de-facto 'acceptance', as the respondents had to be able to challenge the view that "exceptional circumstances" are present. The opposition parties could have approached the Court before Jan 4 to order the registrar to extend the deadline; they cannot do so after the fact. Accordingly, the assistant registrar's acceptance of the papers was illegal. This is fatal to the opposition's case.

Legacy nid: 
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