By: Ludorf Iyambo
One of the six PDM members whose names were removed from the list of National Assembly candidates in the 2019 election says they can still have an impact in parliament two years on.
This comes as chief Justice Peter Shivute, Deputy chief Justice Petrus Damaseb, and acting Judge of appeal, Theo Frank, reserved judgement in the Supreme Court case in which PDM is appealing a previous High Court judgement.
Last year PDM, the High Court ruled that Charmaine Tjirare, Reggie Diergaart, Mike Venaani, Frans Bertolini, Yvette Araes and Tjekupe Maximilliant Katjimune’s names be gazetted and returned to the parliamentary list.
“If we happen to be taken to parliament, we will still make great impacts. It does not need to take us five years to execute the plan we as PDM had initially planned to execute,” said Tjirare.
She said she is hoping the judgement will be in their favour.
Tjirare told The Villager that removing their names was a clear violation of the law. “If people are committed to doing what PDM does, then it gives permission for everybody out to violate each other.”
Tjirare stressed that it was unfair treatment to them. “From where I was sitting, I felt an injustice, and it needed to be rectified by the judiciary. That is why we went to court and won the case. The case is currently with the Supreme Court. The highest court in the country also stands the fact that it was an injustice not only to us, the people that were removed but to the people who went out in numbers to go cast their vote so that they could be represented in the parliament,” she said.
Lawyer Norman Tjombe, who represents some of the members, argued that political parties present their candidates’ lists to prospective voters to canvas their support in an election. He also said that voters then cast ballots for a specific party not merely because they support that party but because they want the party’s nominated candidates to represent them in the parliament.
Tjombe said that six PDM members who were declared elected by the ECN had not been elected by voters but chosen by the party’s leadership instead.
PDM Secretary-General Immanuel Ngaringombe said that he could not comment on whether, if the Supreme Court rules in favour of the six candidates, the party will allow them to go to parliament or not.
“I reserved my comments. The court will determine that, and I can only give a comment after the verdict. Now before the court releases the judgment, I don’t want to make predictions that I’m not very sure of,” said Ngaringombe.
The six PDM candidates had been on the party list of candidates for the 2019 National Assembly election as elected members of the national assembly.
The candidates were replaced by other PDM members, Esmeralda !Aebes, Johannes Martin, Kazeongere Tjeundo, Geoffrey Mwilima, Timotheus Shihumbu and Pieter Mostert.