Namibia confident of holding upcoming elections amid COVID-19 pandemic

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The Namibia Electoral Commission (ECN) believes that the country can hold successful regional council and local authority elections in November if everyone complies with the relevant regulations and requisite health precautions amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

Speaking at the official launch on Friday of the voter and civic education campaign for the elections, ECN chairperson Notemba Tjipueja said the commission is under no illusion that conducting elections under the present circumstances will be an easy task.

“Consultations with the Ministry of Health and Social Services were key to provide a public health risk assessment in respect of all electoral processes and the transmission risks it may involve,” she added.

According to her, this is the first time in history as a nation that national elections are being held during a public health crisis. “I must thus state that the COVID-19 strategy adopted by the ECN is not cast in stone and will be continually adjusted as circumstances dictate,” she added.

Meanwhile, Tjipueja said that the importance of adhering to the COVID-19 measures is one of the important messages which will be disseminated during the voter and civic education campaign, where they will encourage the voters.

Regional councils and local authorities form an integral part of the democratic governance system of Namibia and elections are conducted every five years.

The intended polling day for this year’s elections is November 25, with the ECN opting to re-introduce the manual voting system of ballot boxes rather than electronic voting machines.

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