Authorities Working Hard On New Electoral Law

The Chairperson of the Law Reform and Development Commission (LRDC) Sackey Shanghala says he is optimistic the Constitutional Amendment Bill on the electoral law will be passed before the upcoming presidential and parliamentary elections slated for November.

He said a draft of the Bill has already been forwarded to the Electoral Commission of Namibia (ECN) for input and comment.

He added that the LRDC was also in consultation with the Ministry of Justice, the Ministry of Regional and Local Government, Housing and Rural Development, the Ministry of Home Affairs and Immigration, the Ombudsman’s Office and political parties on electoral matters including the electoral referendum, funding of political parties, electoral disputes and many more.

Some opposition parties have expressed their concern over the readiness of the country to hold credible elections, saying Namibia was still operating on the old electoral law that was criticized by judges as having loopholes after the 2009 High Court election challenge.

Shanghala promised that within three weeks, he would submit a final report on the draft Bill to the Minister of Justice, Uutoni Nujoma, who would then present to it Parliament at his own discretion.

The Director of the ECN, Professor Paul Isaak, assured the nation that the ECN was more than ready to conduct the upcoming elections and that the finalisation of the electoral law reform was at an aanced stage. He added that he hoped that after the parliamentary recess the law would be gazetted speedily.

He also assured that electronic voting machines (EVMs) were going to be used for the upcoming elections and that a credible voter register would be gazetted by June 16.

Source : New Era