ECN dispatches election materials to Ohangwena polling stations

OHANGWENA: The Electoral Commission of Namibia (ECN) started dispatching staff and election materials from the Ohangwena Police Station to the various polling stations in preparation of the Ohangwena Constituency by-elections.

The by-elections kick-off on Tuesday morning, and polls close at 21h00 whereafter the counting of the ballot papers begin immediately.

The ECN officials and the election materials are being accompanied by heavily armed members of the Namibian Police Force (NamPol), who will safeguard the materials and maintain order at the various polling stations during the election process.

The ECN returning officer responsible for the Ohangwena Constituency by-elections, Lisias Kandjene Haiduwa told Nampa on Monday morning at the Ohangwena Police Station that his team is more than ready to conduct credible by-elections.

Haiduwa has also assured people living in the Ohangwena Constituency and the surrounding villages about the ECN’s preparedness and its readiness to use Electronic Voting Machines (EVM) for the first time in Namibia on Tuesday.

“We (ECN officials in the company of NamPol members) are now busy dispatching to the various polling stations of the Ohangwena Constituency. We are more than ready to conduct a credible election. We want each and every person residing in the Ohangwena Constituency to come and exercise his or her democratic right by voting for a political candidate of his or her own choice without fear,” Haiduwa said.

On Tuesday, the credibility of the ECN and the professionalism of its personnel will be tested by local political parties and the public in general as the electoral body will for the first time use EVMs.

The Ohangwena Constituency by-elections were necessitated by the death of former Swapo-Party councillor Maria Kombwana, who died earlier this year due to a cancer-related illness.

The position of the Ohangwena Constituency Councillor is now being contested by Swapo-Party candidate, retired teacher Johannes Hakanyome; and Rally for Democracy and Progress (RDP) candidate, local businessman Vilho Shimwooshili.

Ohangwena is a constituency in the Ohangwena Region on the border to neighbouring Angola.

It has a population of about 17 539 inhabitants, and the district centre of the constituency is the town of Ohangwena.

Other centres and settlements are Omafo, Onhuno, and Ongha.

About 10 000 people are reported to have registered as potential voters for Tuesday’s by-elections.