Namibia elections plagued by delays

2014-11-28 17:30

(Shutterstock)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Windhoek - Elections in Namibia started slowly on Friday with voters standing in long queues from early morning and many polling stations experiencing problems with the electronic voting devices.

Namibia is the first African country to use electronic voting machines (EVMs) for national and presidential elections.

The polls opened at 07:00, but at many polling stations in the capital, Windhoek, voting could start only 15 to 30 minutes later because of hiccups.

"We have experienced problems with the EVMs and had to call one of our technicians to sort it out, delaying polls by about 30 minutes," said an election official in the Windhoek East constituency.

"There were also some issues with the hand-held devices to verify the voter cards," he said, but did not provide details.

Theo Mujoro, director of operations at the electoral commission, confirmed the problems.

"It is not so much technical problems, but operator errors," Mujoro said.

"During voter registration early this year, all 10 fingerprints of each voter were recorded. The hand-held scanning device scans the voter card at polls today and one fingerprint. Some thumb or fingerprints are weak.

"Officials were instructed during training to then use the second and third finger and so on for verification. Some of them, however, tried to repeat verifying the thumb of a voter and that caused problems with the hand-held scanner."

Asked if polling stations would remain open beyond the official closing time of 21:00, Mujoro replied: "Any voter standing in the queue in front of a polling station at 21:00 will be able to still cast his vote, regardless the length of the queue."

The delays experienced with the electronic devices at polling stations in several regions of Namibia could delay the announcement of election results, originally planned to be completed 24 hours after the polls close.

"Naturally, with the delays experienced, the counting of votes and announcement of results from polling stations and constituencies will be pushed back by a couple of hours," Mujoro said.

"We hope to have all results now within 48 hours after polls close."

Meanwhile, President Hifikepunye Pohamba cast his vote at a primary school near State House in the morning.

"It is very good to see Namibians practising their democratic right in the most enabling peaceful and stable atmosphere," he said afterwards.

His probable successor, Prime Minister Hage Geingob, cast his vote in the heart of Katutura, a township on the north-western outskirts of Windhoek, in mid-morning.

Geingob was cheered and applauded by voters in the queue when he arrived and left the Katutura community hall.

About 1.24 million voters are to cast their votes in 121 constituencies to elect a new parliament and a new president. The president is elected directly and voters thus vote twice when they are in the booth.

Read more on:    hifikepunye pohamba  |  hage geingob  |  namibia  |  southern africa

Join the conversation!

24.com encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.
NEXT ON NEWS24X

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
2 comments
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24

 
/News

Book flights

Compare, Book, Fly

Traffic Alerts
Traffic
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.




Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.