Namibian court throws out poll result challenge: report


A Namibian court has thrown out a challenge by opposition parties contesting the results of last year’s presidential and parliamentary elections won by the ruling SWAPO party, the Namibian newspaper said on its website yesterday.

SWAPO secured a two-thirds majority allowing it to change the constitution at will in the vote, which also returned President Hifikepunye Pohamba for a second term in the southern African country, a major producer of uranium and diamonds.

But opposition parties rejected the result, criticising delays in vote counting and release of results and also alleging voting and counting irregularities.
“A hard-fought challenge to Namibia’s presidential and National Assembly elections of November 27 and 28 was thrown out by the High Court in Windhoek this afternoon,” the Namibian said, citing “technical grounds”.
“Judge President Petrus Damaseb and Judge Collins Parker agreed that the parties’ election application had to be struck from the court roll because both applications were filed late in terms of the court rules and the Electoral Act.”

Some African observer missions declared the elections transparent, peaceful and fair, although some recommendations were made to improve the counting process, media balance and the accuracy of the electoral roll.

Opposition parties also demanded a recount of ballots in Namibia’s previous election in 2004, but that confirmed SWAPO as winner.