Update – High Court Dismisses Application to Postpone Elections – Maletzky, RDP and WRP to Appeal Within Next Three Hours

High Court Judge Kobus Miller has dismissed the applications to postpone the Presidential and National Assembly Elections to February next year.

However, immediately after the judgement the litigants, led by August Maletzky, told New Era they are going appeal the judgement in the Supreme Court within the next three hours.

“I expected the judgement,” Maletzky said adding that they had their appeal formulated in anticipation of the judgement. They are now working on getting leave from the Supreme Court Chief Justice Peter Shivute, they said.

Judge Miller, who just read out his judgement in the Windhoek High Court, first dismissed the prayers that the third constitutional amendment was unconstitutional, as sought by the four applicants, including the Rally for Democracy and Progress (RDP), and Workers Revolutionary Party (WRP), all led by Maletzky, who is also the first applicant in the matter.

Judge Miller did not give reasons to the packed court as he had said it is an urgent matter, seeing that the elections are set to take place on Friday, 28 November. Yesterday Judge Miller said he would have liked more time to study the arguments aanced.

Maletzky, the African Labour and Human Rights Centre of which he is director, RDP, and WRP, attacked the constitutional amendments that they said were passed without public consultations. They also attacked the credibility of the electronic voting machines (EVMs) without a paper trail to verify results in case of a dispute, which they allege could lead to vote rigging.

Counsel Sisa Namandje, representing the Electoral Commission of Namibia (ECN), the government, the Minister of Justice and the Minister of Regional, Local Government, Housing and Rural Development, would have none of it.

According to Namandje, the fact is that extensive consultations were held with the parties with representatives in parliament and even with those without representation.

According to Namandje, the assertion of Maletzky that the public have the right to be consulted on legislation holds no water.

“Article 17 clearly states that subject to such qualifications prescribed by law as are necessary in a democratic society to participate in the conduct of public affairs, whether directly or through freely chosen representatives,” Namandje said and emphasised the phrase “conduct of public affairs, whether directly or through freely chosen representatives”.

Source : New Era