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Court-Ordered Recount Underway For Namibian National Assembly Elections

In Namibia, a court-ordered recount of the November National Assembly elections is underway. The recount follows complaints of voting irregularities. However, questions are now being raised about the recount itself.

Phil ya Nangoloh is head of the Namibian National Society for Human Rights. While he favors the recount, he says he has concerns about how it is being conducted. From Windhoek, he spoke to English to Africa reporter Joe De Capua.

He says, “The recount is a very welcome development taken against the background of the fact that we have been claiming the election was wasn’t free nor fair.“ He says the High Court ordered the recount after several different election results were put forth by the Election Commission.

However, Mr. Ya Nangoloh says the NSHR has several complaints regarding the recount. First, he says is that the recount began even though all the election materials had not yet been gathered in a single location. Next is that nearly 40 ballot boxes have been found to be soaking wet, which may make thousands of ballots useless. A police investigation on the matter is underway.

Mr. Ya Nangoloh also says another objection is that the recount is being done in secrecy instead of being a transparent process. The human rights group leader says a complaint over the recount may have to be lodged, raising the possibility that the National Assembly elections could be conducted a second time.