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Namibia: Introducing Namibia election bloggers

Namibia will hold presidential and national assembly elections on 27 and 28 Novermber, 2009. A number of Namibian journalists will use blogs to report and monitor the elections. The journalists attended a two-day ICT workshop organised by African Elections Project in collaboration with the Media Institute of Southern Africa (MISA) in Windhoek, Namibia. We are introducing these new bloggers to you.

Martha Matongo's blog goes by her name, Marth Matongo. She notes that members of the main opposition, RDP, want Namibia to learn some lessons from Zimbabwe:

Most of the SWAPO members who stays in Ovambo Location and Oshandumbala of Katutura (Windhoek) expect that RDP loose and not get even a seat in Parliament. Approached by Mrs Emilia Tuhadeleni the heard person of Oshandumbala convienced me to get a ticket of SWAPO and encouraged me to go to her house to fill inn the forms.

Being not in the mood, i said i would come any time. Rally for Democracy supporters who are mostly not Oshiwambo speaking expect that their party gets some seats and they will totally support it as they want what happened to Mr Mugabe of Zimbabwe come to their country also.

“We have been in SWAPO for such a long time but but no change come to our region” they say.

Mulolani discusses the controversy surrounding the tender to print ballot papers. The tender was awarded to Namprint, a company owned by the ruling party, Swapo:

The withdrawal of the NamPrint tender by the Electoral Commission of Nambia(ECN) is a welcome move.
Th fact that the tender has been withdrawn after pressure from various political parties that are contesting the elections is a sure sign that the credibility of elections was going to be questioned.
The other important aspect to consider is that the political parties did well in threatening to boycott the elections because obviously they were expressing their democratic right and it was definitely an irregularity to award Namprint the tender given that its a SWAPO owned company.The award was simply going to jeopardise the whole electoral process which ws not going to be a good thing for the country's democracy,even Namibia is still a growing democracy.

Ndahafa reports that two opposition parties, DTA and MAG, plan to take legal actions against the Electoral Commission in Namibia because the tender that was given to Namprint:

The opposition DTA and MAG will take lagal actions against the Electoral commision in Namibia because of the tender that was awarded to the SWAPO party company “NAMPRINT” to print ballot papers for the upcoming elections in November. The two oppositions has refused to accept the awarding of the tender and want it to be awarded to a company that is not linked to the ruling party. They have given the commission until 17h00 yesterday to rescind the decision. The opposition will meet today to consult a way forward if they do not receive any reaction by 17h00.

Pedro discusses the political environment in Namibia:

The Republic of Namibia is known as one of the most peaceful and democratic countries in Africa but the recent happenings has proven how dangerous politics can be when diagnosed with election fever.

Election is the key element or ingredient of a democratic country, therefore, as a Journalism student, living and studying in Namibia for almost three years, I could not let the general elections passby without expressing my humble opinion in the matter as an international observer.

Just like in many African countries, the pre-election stage was marked by a lack of effectiveness from the Electoral Commission when it comes to the delivery of voters registration materials. Unfortunate or fortunately there is always someone to be blamed for mistakes, and this time the Electoral Commision allegedly blamed the Government for not making the vehicles available on time.

There is also a critical element that became a culture, especially in SADC region, where the ruling political parties always have more broadcasting airtime and coverage compared to other parties, and Namibia is no exception.

Consequently, the other political parties criticised the Namibian Broadcasting Corporation (NBC) for unfair election campaign coverage towards the other political parties

Vikitoria writes about hate speech in political campaigns in the country:

As the country leads up to its National and Presidential elections in November this year, political parties campaigning to get ‘the vote’ have left nothing unearthed, blame and derogatory comments about each other has become the order of the day.

At a recent Swapo Party rally in the Omungwelume constituency in Northern Namibia, Secretary General of Swapo, Pendukeni Iivula-Ithana in what can only be regarded as promoting xenophobic behaviour amongst the Namibian population, referred to the Editor of the Namibian daily newspaper, Gwen Lister as a ‘big snake in Namibia.’

Iivula -Itana further warned lister that if she is not careful about what she writes about when it comes to Swapo leaders and other Namibians, she will be taken to task for the wrong doings committed by her white ancestors.

Some politica parties are conducting campaigns at the University of Namibia contrary to university regulations, writes Etuna:

Some political parties in Namibia conducted campaign at the University of Namibia (UNAM)'s hostels. The UNAM's SRC president Job Amupada told local media on Tuesday that the Rally for Democratic Party (RDP) members are campaigning door to door at the insititution on Monday.
Amupada said this is prohibited at the institution and it disturbed students as they are preparing for November examinations.
“Political parties are not allowed to conduct campaigns or rallies in the institutions,” he said.

One blogger reports that the Electoran Commission has started the exercise of entering statistical data from voters’ roll:

The Electoral Commssion of was during the past days busy with entering the statistical data and information gained from the registration of voters activity which ended last week. The Electoral Commission therefore hired additional staff in order to carry this excercise, the activity is expected to be completed in the next two weeks.

The data will help the Commission in recording the number of registered voters per region and constitituency, and thus will make the voting processs at the end of the year much easier.

You can also follow updates of elections in Namibia on twitter and African Elections site.

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