ECN Should Learn From SA

As Namibia prepares to go to the polls later this year, the Electoral Commission of Namibia (ECN) has been urged to draw lessons from their South African counterparts on how best to manage elections.

Speaking exclusively to New Era from South Africa yesterday, the Minister of Foreign Affairs Netumbo Nandi-Ndaitwah said the entire SA election process ran smoothly, and in the same breath she called on the ECN to draw valuable lessons from the Independent Electoral Commission (IEC) of South Africa.

“So far I have not received any reports of concern and the situation on the ground is calm. I hope the ECN can emulate what is happening here. One can see the one-day elections are very efficient and cost effective to the parties,” said Nandi-Ndaitwah who was in South Africa as a stand-in for President Hifikepunye Pohamba, who is the Head of SADC’s Electoral Observer Mission to the South African Elections and Chairperson of SADC’s Organ on Politics, Defence and Security Cooperation.

She said that apart from having to hire more party agents, one-day elections are less costly for political parties as party agents are only required for one day and then they can attend to other party activities. Namibia’s elections are normally held over two days.

“I have observed elections in Madagascar and now here in South Africa and the entire process is very efficient and you can see how fast the results are coming out, we really need to learn from others.”

New Era has established that some senior officials from the ECN were in South Africa to see how their South African counterparts conducted the elections.

At the time of going to print, the ruling party, the African National Congress (ANC), was leading in most of the nine provinces followed by the Democratic Alliance (DA) and the Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) of Julius Malema. The DA continued to dominate in the Western Cape Province.

Twenty-nine parties contested Wednesday’s elections, which saw young South Africans born after the country’s independence in 1994 cast their vote for the first time.

Some 25.39 million people were registered to vote. The Independent Electoral Commission of South Africa set up 22 263 polling stations for Wednesday’s polls and employed 218 000 people for the election process.

Source : New Era