Political parties describe Windhoek West by-election as smooth

WINDHOEK: Political parties have described the voting process in the Windhoek West by-election as “smooth”.

The by-election is being contested by the Swapo-Party, Rally for Democracy and Progress (RDP), DTA of Namibia, Congress of Democrats (CoD) and Republican Party (RP).

It was necessitated by the death of regional councillor Shikwetepo Haindongo in August 2014.

Haindongo, 61, died in the Medi-Park Hospital in Ongwediva after a short illness.

When Nampa visited polling stations at the Windhoek Vocational Training Centre (VTC), Rocky Crest High School, Baines Shopping Centre, Academia Checkers, Wernhil Shopping Centre, Polytechnic of Namibia and Van Rhyn Primary School this morning, all political parties were well represented.

RDP’s agent at the Van Rhyn Primary School, Elizabeth van Wyk said the election process started off well.

“The process is going fast, but some senior citizens experience problems with using the Electronic Voting Machines (EVMs),” Van Wyk said.

She however added that officials from the Electoral Commission of Namibia (ECN) provide voter education to those who are struggling to use the EVMs.

RP agent Alion Uirab said all EVMs are working properly and no hiccups were experienced.

This reporter also spoke to Swapo-Party agent Pendapala Nakathingo, who applauded the ECN for providing voter educator at most polling stations for those who experience problems with the EVMs.

The information is provided before they cast their votes in the presence of all political party agents.

By 11h00, more than 20 people had voted at the Wernhil Shopping Centre, while 30 people had voted at the Polytechnic and about 20 at Van Rhyn Primary School.

The ECN’s returning officer for the Windhoek West by-election, John Jantjies told Nampa on Friday all polling stations opened at exactly 07h00.

“We expect the turnout to increase later in the day,” he said.

The provisional voters’ roll indicated that 27 106 eligible voters residing in that constituency are expected to participate.

The candidates for the councillor position are George Trepper (Swapo), Maureen Dunn (RDP), Immanuel Benestes Auchamub (DTA), Joseph Amadhila (CoD) and Sophia Panizza (Republican Party).

Voters are making use of the EVMs, which have already been used in by-elections in Ohangwena and Endola, as well as in the Bukalo Local Authority election earlier this year.

These EVMs are expected to be used in the Presidential and National Assembly elections scheduled for 28 November 2014.

The polling stations are expected to close at 21h00.