Election Watch

Promoting democracy in Namibia

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Electoral justice

Electoral Tribunals
The Electoral Act, in Sections 162 to 167, sets up electoral tribunals to adjudicate and decide on matters that may arise before polling day such as the inclusion or non-inclusion of names on the provisional voters register, the conduct of registered political parties and their office-bearers, the conduct of electoral officials, and any alleged electoral irregularities. The presiding officer at an electoral tribunal must give a written or oral decision and reasons for the decision no later than five days from the date of conclusion of the hearing. Electoral tribunal hearings must conclude all pre-election matters before polling day. In any case requiring urgent relief, the tribunal must give a decision no later than 48 hours after the conclusion of the hearing. Any appeal to the Electoral Court must also be concluded before polling day.
An electoral tribunal may not make an order for costs against a party unless the party has acted in a frivolous or vexatious manner.

Electoral Court
The Electoral Act, in Sections 168 to 172, sets up the Electoral Court to hear and determine appeals against decisions of electoral tribunals, to review decisions of electoral tribunals, to decide on any matter concerning any contravention of the Electoral Act. The Court can also hear and determine appeals against decisions of the Electoral Commission of Namibia (ECN), as well as review ECN decision relating to any electoral issues. It can also decide on any matter referred to it by the Commission regarding the interpretation of electoral law. An applicant must, at the time of the presentation of an application before the Electoral Court, furnish security for the payment of all costs, charges and expenses that may become payable by the applicant before the Electoral Court
The Electoral Court at a hearing must give a written or oral decision and reasons for the decision at the conclusion of the hearing, or as soon as possible after the conclusion of the hearing, having due regard for the complexity of the matter. The Electoral Court must conclusively determine all post-election matters seven days before the swearing in of the office-bearer concerned. In urgent cases, the Court must give a decision no later than 72 hours from the conclusion of the hearing. The Electoral Court may not make an order for costs against a party unless the party has acted in a frivolous or vexatious manner.
In any election of the President any challenge relating to the return or outcome of the election, including any request to review electoral materials in respect of the election for the purposes of bringing a challenge, the challenge or request is directed to and adjudicated by the Supreme Court of Namibia .The Supreme Court must give a decision no later than 14 days after the conclusion of the hearing.

© 2017 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.