Debate starting on amendments to Electoral Act

By Lindsay Dentlinger
Published June 19th 2003 in The Namibian

DEBATE is expected to start in the National Assembly today on proposed amendments to the Electoral Act of 1992.

On Tuesday Regional and Local Government and Honning of local and regional elections in December.

There are less than two weeks for Parliament to pass the bill before voters registration begins on July 1.

Last week the Congress of Democrats indicated that it intends mounting a legal challenge to the Delimitation Commission's report which delineated the country's new constituency boundaries.

In his motivation, Kaapanda argued that by holding more than one election at the same time, voter apathy will be countered.

The Minister said this new arrangement will also be less expensive.

The new bill proposes a system of voter registration which provides for only one application form to be completed for all elections.

Voters will then be issued with a double-sided voter registration card applicable for all the various elections.

The special identification and security features of the new cards are expected to speed up the voting process as well as guard against fraud.

The proposed bill also calls for the removal of all provisions that refer to wards and instead that proportional representation through the party lists be enforced.

Accordingly candidates will be elected in proportion to the votes their political party obtains in the election.

The ward system has already been abolished - through the Local Authorities Amendment Act passed last year - but still stands in the Electoral Act.

At present, the only elections held simultaneously are the Presidential and national elections.