Electoral Commission of Namibia

Updated November 2009

The Electoral Commission of Namibia is established by the Electoral Act 24 of 1992 (Electoral Act, 1992, 3-12). The amendment of 1998 was particularly important since it took significant steps to secure the independence of the ECN from the Executive, for the appointment of the ECN is no longer the simple prerogative of the President. Moreover, the Director of Elections was firmly subordinated to the ECN.

Composition

The Electoral Commission consists of a Chairperson and four Commissioners. The members of the ECN are appointed by the President from a shortlist compiled by a Selection Committee which consists of a judge nominated by the Chief Justice, a lawyer nominated by the Law Society and a nominee of the Ombudsman. Members of the ECN may lose their positions for incapacity or may be removed by the President for misconduct, with the approval of a resolution of the National Assembly (Electoral Act, 1992, 5(1),(12), (21)).

Term of Office

Commissioners are appointed for five years, but may be be reappointed for further five year terms (Electoral Act, 1992, 6).

Functions

The ECN has the following functions (Electoral Act, 1992, 4(2)):

  • To direct, control and supervise elections fairly and impartially.
  • To register voters.
  • To compile and publish voters rolls.
  • To register political parties.
  • To supervise, direct, control and promote voter education on elections (This includes the accreditation of voter educators other than political parties. See Electoral Act 1992, 47A, 47D).

The ECN is not tasked with hearing electoral complaints or disputes, such functions being reserved for the High Court (Electoral Act, 1992, 109).

Commissioners

The following are members of the ECN (ECN undatedb):

  • Victor L Tonchi (Chairperson)
  • Notemba Tjipueja
  • Shafimana F Ueitele
  • Andrew Nghidinwa
  • Salmaan D Jacobs

Regional officials

The ECN must appoint a coordinator for each region and may appoint assistant coordinators if necessary (Electoral Act, 1992, 13B). The coordinators are in charge of voter registration staff and activities, returning officers, voter education provision and voting in their respective regions (Electoral Act, 1992, 13C).

Directorate of Elections

The Directorate of Elections functions as the secretariat of the ECN. The Directorate is headed by a Director of Elections, currently Philemon H Kanime, who is appointed by the President on the recommendation of the ECN (Electoral Act, 1992, 11; ECN undatedb). The Director functions as the secretary and executive arm of the ECN (Electoral Act, 1992, 11(1)).

Funding

The funding of the ECN is made from "funds appropriated by law for that purpose" (Electoral Act, 1992). This presumably means a parliamentary appropriation.

References

ELECTORAL ACT 1992 as amended in 1994, 1998, 1999, 2002 and 2003, [www] http://www.scribd.com/doc/16633875/Electoral-Act-24-of-1992 [opens new window] (accessed 8 Mar 2010).
Note: The above edition does not include the amendments made in 2006 and 2009.

ECN UNDATEDb "Electoral Commission of Namibia", [www] http://www.ecn.gov.na/ecn%20management.htm [opens new window] (accessed 12 may 2009).

Official web site

ECN: http://www.ecn.gov.na/ [opens new window] (accessed 17 Nov 2009).