By: Kelvin Chiringa
After a long drawn out legal fight to annul the Ndonga Linena constituency elections at the back of allegations that the ruling Swapo party might have rigged the ballot, the All People’s Party has ultimately failed to win over the constituency.
This is after a recount was done by the Electoral Commission of Namibia (ECN) Thursday from morning hours right into the afternoon.
APP saw itself in a neck to neck fight with the ruling Swapo party which led with 1 094 votes.
The Ignatius Shixwameni-led break-away party managed 1 074 and was dealt a serious blow by 20 spoilt ballots with the official opposition managing only 146 votes and IPC a trifle 72.
The loss is a culmination of a court victory which granted the party and the ECN the right to open the contested ballots and push through a recount.
But APP has not accepted the outcome.
Party secretary general Vincent Kanyetu has questioned some ballots that he said were marked in pencil for the APP and ink for Swapo.
Instead of heaping he blame on a possibly inadequately educated electorate on how to vote without spoiling a ballot, he has accused ECN officials.
“When you vote, you vote with a pencil right? But under, you then find somebody marked with a pen on Swapo. Where the hell is the ink coming from? Many of the votes are marked twice. I do not know whether it’s the same voter or ghost that has crossed for Swapo in ink.
“So, we still have a problem with that (result). As you can see, those 20 (spoilt) ballots, let’s give it the benefit of the doubt, if they were all of them for APP, we could have won. Whatever they have announced here, to us it is still fake,” he said.
Kanyetu has threatened to take some ECN officials to court saying that there are some that have been allowed to work for the entity while they have criminal records.
“We are going to sit and the top eight (of the party) are going to take a decision. Whatever decision that they are going to take, that will be it,” he said.
However, the ruling party initially backed away from the recount, saying it was never invited for the unsealing of the ballots, and slammed the ECN for losing its integrity.
Despite that, the Swapo Party Youth League (SPYL) congratulated its candidate for reclaiming victory, but still maintained that the ECN needs to put its house in order.
“Swapo is the people and the people are Swapo. That remains. No matter what, I congratulate the constituency councillor for Ndonga Linena for emerging victorious. So that is just to confirm that the result has been like that.
“However, as the youth league, we are disappointed of late by the remarks that have been made by the ECN. That means that we will lose if ECN is not being run by professional ethics. We are going to have a serious problem of credibility of the institution,” he said.
Nekongo has said the APP can always approach the courts if they feel cheated.
“If they have issues, they have all the means, the country is governed by the rule of law. If they want to go to court, which has given the indication for a recount, well, they can do so,” he said.