High Court dismisses urgent application to postpone elections

WINDHOEK; The 2014 Presidential and National Assembly elections will proceed as scheduled on Friday after High Court Judge Kobus Muller on Wednesday dismissed an urgent application to have the elections postponed.

The application was launched on Monday by the African Labour and Human Rights Centre, its director August Maletzky, the Rally for Democracy and Progress (RDP) party, and the president of the Workers Revolutionary Party Hewat Beukes.

The four called for the postponement of the general elections to February 2015, claiming that it is unconstitutional to use electronic voting machines (EVMs) for elections without a paper trail.

Muller said in his judgment that it is not in his jurisdiction to address the issues raised by the applicants, but the jurisdiction of the Electoral Commission of Namibia (ECN).

He further said that the applicants had known about the issues raised since October this year, but had chosen to disrupt the activities of the elections only now.

The judge dismissed the application, and ordered the applicants to pay all legal costs of the respondents.

Minister of Regional and Local Government, Housing and Rural Development Charles Namoloh told the media after the judgment that the absence of a paper trail on the EVMs was explained to the applicants, and now they want to use the lack of a paper trail as if they are the ones who know and government not.

“The EVMs were used in the by-elections without a paper trail, and now they are trying to find reasons if they lose to blame it on the EVMs,” he said.

The Namibia Economic Freedom Fighters (NEFF) spokesperson Olsen Kahiriri was not happy with the judge’s decision, saying the outcome of a case of this magnitude is sad for Namibian democracy.

“Our people are forced and subjected to certain things in our country. We are disappointed at how the elite are putting our people under pressure,” he said.

Lawyer Sisa Namandje represented the ECN and the Namibian Government as the first and second respondents, respectively.