by Sakeus Iikela

Independent presidential candidate Panduleni Itula at Hakahana sports field during the launch of his manifesto for the upcoming national election.

INDEPENDENT presidential candidate Panduleni Itula says he will go a step further to ensure that the disputed electronic voting machines are not used in the upcoming presidential and National Assembly elections.

He said recent reports of missing voting machines that have caused a widespread public outcry have proven that EVMs cannot be trusted, and should not be used in the national elections next month.

If the EVMs are to be used in the elections, the Electoral Commission of Namibia (ECN) should make sure they are accompanied by a verifiable voter audit paper trail to enhance the credibility of the election and to dispel doubts of manipulation, he added.

In the absence of such a paper trail, Itula said the ECN should rather return to the old model of using ballot papers.

He made these remarks on Saturday in Windhoek during the launch of his election manifesto for the upcoming elections.

Itula is one of 11 politicians vying for Namibia’s presidential position. He is the first in Namibian history to contest for the country’s top job as an independent candidate.

At the event, he said he had written to the ECN to demand the removal of the EVMs.

He said the use of the EVMs could not be trusted because the machines can be manipulated to “divert the votes to the person who is not the choice of the people”.

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This article was first published on 28 October 2019

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