RDP Blames Law Amendment for Low Turnout

Rally for Democracy and Progress (RDP) director for elections Nic Kruger has blamed the poor turnout of voters in last week’s Windhoek West by-election on the late gazetting of the new electoral law.

The Windhoek West by-election last Friday saw a poor turnout of voters, with only 3 398 of the 27 000 registered voters casting their vote.

Swapo candidate Georg Trepper won the election convincingly.

Kruger says the fact that the new Electoral Act and the Constitutional Amendment Act were gazetted at a very late stage created some pressure on all stakeholders in the elections.

“We are really operating under heavy pressure to comply with the new law regarding election and counting agents, the schedules of the NBC to, for the first time ever, utilize the free airtime,” he said.

Kruger says the by-elections in Endola and Windhoek West “did not help our cause and in this regard the party would put more effort into the by-elections, but some things were just physically impossible to do”.

“Opposition parties operate on shoestring budgets and the low voter turnout was maybe voter protest against the performance of the local, regional and national government,” he added.

He said the party would step up its campaign over the coming days and encourage voters countrywide to use their votes to bring positive change and a better life for all.

The Windhoek West by-election was won by Swapo with 2 685 votes followed by the Rally for Democracy and Progress (RDP) with 315, DTA of Namibia 205, Congress of Democrats (CoD) 53 and Republican Party 140 votes.

Candidates for the councillor position were George Trepper (Swapo), Maureen Dunn (RDP), Immanuel Benestus Auchamub (DTA), Joseph Amadhila (CoD) and Sophia Panizza (Republican Party).

Voters used electronic voting machines (EVMs), which had already been used in by-elections in Ohangwena and Endola, as well as the Bukalo local authority election earlier this year.

Source : New Era