Electoral Bill of 2014 Passes in National Assembly

THE National Assembly passed the Electoral Bill of 2014 with amendments on Wednesday.

If enacted into an Act, the Bill will replace the Electoral Act of 1992, which has been amended some six times.

Voting in national elections would also be conducted in one day, while other features in the Bill include the introduction of an occurrence book which will be kept at every registration point, polling station and collation centre to record all complaints and events which voters are dissatisfied with.

The matter of proof of residence, which was of concern to many, is also dealt with by the simple deposition of an oath before a registration officer.

Meanwhile, parliament also passed the Third Constitutional Amendment Bill, which stirred so much controversy since its tabling last month, ahead of the national elections.

Presidential affairs minister Albert Kawana, who earlier tabled the Bill, thanked all members of the opposition for making useful contributions to the amendments, as well as for supporting it.

“This project is not for the Swapo Party, nor is it for the Swapo government, but it is for the people of Namibia.

So, through this amendment, we will achieve good governance, peace and stability in our country,” Kawana said after the Bill was passed.

If enacted, it will make way for the seats in the National Council (NC) to be increased from 26 to 42, and in the NA from 72 to 96.

It will also see the appointment of a vice-president, and allow for an increase in the number of presidential appointments in the National Assembly from six to eight.

Other notable changes include making provision for the Namibia Central Intelligence Service in the Constitution, and allowing the President to appoint the head of the intelligence agency, who will also become a part of the Security Commission.

The NA has forwarded the Bills to the NC for review after which they will go to President Hifikepunye Pohamba for his signature. The NA went into recess until 23 September. – Nampa

Source : The Namibian

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