SADC Observers Foresee a Free Election

The Chairperson of the SADC electoral observer mission to Namibia, Luwellyn Landers, is confident the elections in Namibia on Friday will be held peacefully.

Landers who is also the Deputy Minister of International Relations in South Africa told reporters at a press conference yesterday that the international observers engaged several stakeholders to ascertain the readiness of the country to hold elections.

These stakeholders included the political parties in Namibia, civil society organisations, Electoral Commission of Namibia (ECN), other observers, the diplomatic corps, academics and government ministries, Landers highlighted.

They also paid a courtesy call to the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Netumbo Nandi-Ndaitwah, and President Hifikepunye Pohamba.

He said the observers attended a number of political rallies in Windhoek and other regions where observers will be deployed during voting. Landers said the observers noted that political rallies have been peaceful and orderly.

“And so thus far the SADC electoral observer mission is able to report on the positive climate that pervades the campaign in the 14 regions of Namibia. With these developments on the ground the mission remains positive and confident that the 28 November elections will go ahead peacefully and as planned by the Electoral Commission of Namibia,” Landers stated.

The observers also had the privilege of observing the Windhoek West Constituency by-election where “for the first time we were able to witness and observe the use of the EVM (electronic voting machine).”

He added that a statement will be issued when they conclude their mission in the country on November 30.

Landers said 97 observers were divided into 24 teams and deployed to the 14 regions on November 15.

They were trained in, amongst others, election observation methodologies, code of conduct for election observers, the use of the EVMs and SADC’s role in election observations. The SADC observer mission to Namibia was launched on November 10 in Windhoek.

Source : New Era