Damaseb Swears in Poll Presiding Officers

Thirty-three magistrates who will serve as presiding officers at the Tribunal Court for the upcoming polls were sworn in on Monday.

The Deputy Chief Justice Petrus Damaseb administered the swearing-in that took place at a ceremony held at the SADC Tribunal in Windhoek.

The 33 magistrates who will deal with complaints relating to electoral matters during the upcoming elections were urged to deal with complaints promptly without turning away any of the complainants.

Damaseb noted that the presiding officers would hear appeals such as the refusal of the application of a voter or a political party as well as hear and determine appeals against cancellations of registration of prospective voters.

They will serve in this capacity for the entire duration of the election period.

They will also adjudicate disputes that might arise before polling day, such as those emanating from the conduct of political parties, electoral officials and any other electoral irregularities that might unfold before polling day.

Namibians will go to the polls on November 28 to vote in the Presidential and National Assembly elections.

Damaseb also highlighted the importance of section 165 of the Electoral Act which states that all decisions in complaints filed with the Tribunal Court must be handed down not later than five days from the day they were laid.

“You have taken an important oath to administer justice according to law, properly informed by evidence and facts that will come before you. I have no doubt you will be firm, fair and upright in the performance of your additional functions,” he stated.

Any complaints relating to the presidential elections will be heard by the Supreme Court.

“With your swearing in the adjudication machinery under the Electoral Act has kicked in,” stated Damaseb.

“The Electoral Court will operate as a division within the High Court and will entertain appeals and reviews from the Electoral Tribunal and decisions made by the Electoral Commission of Namibia,” Damaseb further stated.

“It is my belief that you will consciously carry out your duties and that you will not turn anyone away without their cases being heard in the shortest time possible,” he said.

Source : New Era