The Electoral Commission of Namibia
The Electoral Commission of Namibia was established by the now repealed Electoral Act 24 of 1992 (Electoral Act, 1992, 3-12). Following an extensive Electoral Review process, a new Electoral Act, 2014 (Act No. 5 of 2014) was promulgated. The Act was gazetted on 8 October and became operational on 17 October 2014. Elections were previously conducted under the Electoral Act, No. 24 of 1992.
The Electoral Act of 2014 (Act No. 5 of 2014) mandates the Electoral Commission of Namibia to organise, direct, supervise, manage and control the conduct of elections and referenda in a free, fair, independent, credible, transparent and impartial manner. It further obliges the ECN to strengthen constitutional democracy and to promote democratic electoral and referenda processes.
The following are some of the key outstanding changes introduced by the 2014 Electoral Act:
- The introduction of one (1) polling day for all kind of elections in Namibia;
- Establishment of Electoral Tribunals at each Regional Magistrate Court to adjudicate and decide on electoral disputes arising prior to polling day;
- The establishment of an Electoral Court as a division of, and with the status of a High Court which is to preside over appeals against Electoral Tribunal decisions, all post-election matters; it is also the competent Court to review ECN decisions; to hear allegations of contraventions of the Act; and to give the interpretation of any law relating to electoral issues;
- In terms of the new Electoral Act all presidential electoral challenges are now to be instituted in the Supreme Court; this Court is now thus the court of first instance and final recourse for presidential electoral challenges; importantly, all such matters are to be heard on an urgent basis.
- Disputes lodged with the Electoral Tribunal and the Electoral Court must be resolved with due avoidance of strict formalities, within clearly defined times frames, and, generally, with no costs order against a losing party, unless special circumstances so dictate.
- The introduction of the use of an Occurrence Book which is to be kept at every registration point, polling station, and collation Centre and in which all complaints, dissatisfactions and incidents are to be recorded and signed.
- The establishment of Collation Centre in each constituency throughout the country to verify and collate results.
To deliver free, fair and credible elections, managed in a transparent, innovative and participatory manner to strengthen democracy in Namibia.
To be the leading autonomous and most credible elections management institution in Africa.