Swapo top four contestant cry foul

…wants elections declared invalid and set aside

By Tracy Tafirenyika

A NOTHER legal battle has erupted within the Swapo party ranks after losing deputy Secretary General candidate, Evelyn !Nawases-Taeyele challenging the results of the recently held party elections and calling for them to be declared invalid and set aside, until the party allows for a re-run between her and Uahekua Herunga to be held.

This comes as her lawyers, Metcalfe Beukes Attorney wrote a letter this week to Secretary General, Sophia Shaningwa pointing out that the Party gives effects to the preamble in its constitution which states that gender inequality is unacceptable in an independent and democratic Namibia.

!Nawases-Taeyele lost out due to the party’s 50/50 gender policy and now claims her right to compliance was blatantly disregarded when the resolution was made that she should be omitted from the re-run on the basis of gender.

“In terms of the rules and procedures of the Swapo party, a person can only be declared a winner if you have 51 percent of the votes. Unfortunately, all three candidates did not obtain 51percent. Herunga got 46 percent, while !Nawases-Taeyele and Hamutenya got 46 and 12 percent respectively.

The Swapo Party Constitution stipulates that the top four should consist of two males and two females. The rules say a candidate has to get 51 percent of votes to be declared the winner. Guided by the rules, it was resolved that a re-run between Herunga and Hamutenya be held which effectively excluded  !Nawases-Taeyele.

According to her lawyers Metcalfe Beukes Attorney, !Nawases-Taeyele is disgruntled by the unjust and discriminatory treatment she endured.

“Our instructions are that our client was nominated to stand as one of three candidates for the Deputy Secretary-General position, at SWAPO’s 7th National Congress, alongside Hamutenya and Herunga. As a result of the Returning Officer’s erroneous interpretation of Article 11(16) of the Party’s Constitution, the re-run took place between the two male candidates, with Herunga emerging victorious after amassing 71 percent of the total votes.

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