by Sakeus Iikela
THIRTY-EIGHT members of Popular Democratic Movement who are on the list of candidates for the National Assembly elections resigned from their jobs this week.
The resignations will make them eligible for parliamentary seats in the upcoming national elections. The names of those who resigned were, however, not made available.
The Electoral Commission of Namibia (ECN)’s chief electoral officer, Theo Mujoro, yesterday confirmed the PDM resignations.
The resignations bring the party in compliance with a directive to all political parties by the ECN last week for all members nominated on the parliamentary lists not to hold public office.
This directive was issued in compliance with Articles 46 and 47 of the Constitution, as well as section 77 of the Electoral Act of Namibia which prohibits people working in the public service, at regional councils, and at local authorities from being nominated as candidates for the National Assembly elections while holding those positions.
The PDM leadership initially defied this directive. Other parties such as Swapo and Nudo complied, with several of their members resigning from their positions before the conclusion of the nomination period on Friday last week.
The PDM leadership, including secretary general Manuel Ngaringombe and member of parliament Vipua Muharukua, were reluctant to comply with this directive, arguing that the ECN had wrongly interpreted the law.
Muharukua last week told The Namibian that the interpretation by the ECN that people must first resign to be nominated as candidates for the National Assembly elections was wrong.
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*This article was first published on 25 October 2019