NEFF, CDV members asked to leave SADC observer meeting

WINDHOEK; Members of two opposition parties were today asked to leave a stakeholder meeting after they questioned the Southern African Development Committee (SADC) Electoral Observer Mission’s declaration of the elections as being free and fair.

The incident occurred during a meeting in Windhoek, where the members of the Christian Democratic Voice (CDV) and Namibia Economic Freedom Fighters (NEFF) wanted to know how the SADC observers could make such a pronouncement while the final results of the elections were not yet out.

The observer mission declared the 2014 Presidential and National Assembly elections free, fair, transparent, peaceful and credible during the meeting, with Head of mission Maite Nkoana-Mashabane saying the Electoral Commission of Namibia (ECN) created a conducive environment for the undertaking of the elections, which also demonstrated its readiness and state of preparedness.

The members of the two parties were however not happy with the declaration.

Chaos erupted after NEFF spokesperson Olsen Kahiriri questioned the announcement while the final results have not yet been released.

The ECN said earlier on Sunday the final results would be out later in the day.

CDV president Gotthard Kandume told Nampa the SADC Electoral Observers were wrong to announce that the elections, which took place on Friday, were free and fair while the final results were not yet known.

He said after showed his support for Kahiriri, they were told to leave the room.

Kandume noted that they told the observers upon their arrival in the country before they announce anything to the media, they need to talk to the political parties in order to share ideas on the whole elections process.

“They were supposed to wait for the final results to come out. We need professional people to observe the elections, they must go, we don’t need them. Namibians are not stupid to be told such things prematurely,” he stressed.

Kahiriri shared his sentiments, saying they “do not deserve to hear such comments” from SADC Electoral Observers who allegedly observed how people were turned away without voting.

“They want to silence people who are asking real questions. We are going to demonstrate for our rights, we will demand credible elections,” he said.

The SADC Electoral Observer Mission arrived in Namibia two weeks ago to observe the elections, which were held on Friday.

The counting process is underway.