News24

Namibian parties seek poll re-run

2010-03-01 13:44

Windhoek - Nine opposition parties in the south-west African desert state of Namibia began giving evidence in court on Monday in their application to have last November's presidential and parliamentary elections declared null and void.

Judge president Petrus Damaseb and Judge Collins Parker began hearing the opposition's case in a packed courtroom in the High Court in Windhoek.

"We are very positive of what we have. We believe in the rule of law and we'll respect the ruling," said Libolly Haufiku, spokesperson for the main opposition RDP.

The RDP is leading the challenge to the election, which was easily won by Swapo, the party of liberation from apartheid South Africa in 1990, which has ruled the country ever since. Party leader President Hifikepunye Pohamba also secured a second term by a landslide.

The opposition claim the election was marred by gross irregularities and are demanding a re-run or a full recount by a full bench of the High Court.

In December the courts ordered the Electoral Commission of Namibia to allow the opposition parties access to all election materials for perusal.

The parties gathered what they called conclusive evidence of irregularities.

A ruling is expected by late Tuesday, before a deadline of Thursday, when the 60 day period in which the courts must rule on an election challenge runs out.

Observers said the November 27 and 28 elections were free and fair.

The controversy centres around the voters roll. Three different voters' lists were circulated ahead of the polls.

The opposition also says more people voted in some places than were registered to vote.