Namibia should fast-track the Electoral Amendment Bill

Passing of the Electoral Amendment bill of 2022 is stalling yet the next elections are only one year away, 2024. The bill proposed amending several sections of the Electoral Act of 2014, including the following:

Sections 139 to 142 to provide for declaration of assets and liabilities, records and audits, disclosure of foreign and domestic financing and other obligations by political parties; and sections 154 to 161 to provide for funding of political parties, their obligation to account for the funds, and recovery of monies irregularly spent. Section 158 calls for political parties to account for funds.

Another proposed amendment to the Electoral Act of 2014 is the creation of a position of Deputy Chief Electoral and Referenda Officer (CERO) under section 17 of the Act. He/she would also oversee the enforcement and monitor statutory compliance by political parties and organisations with relevant provisions of the Electoral Act.

The pan-African political finance watchdog, Alliance for Finance Monitoring (ACFIM) calls for further fortifying of the proposed amendments to ensure that campaign financing is well regulated.

According to ACFIM, Namibia needs legal provisions that make it mandatory for political parties and candidates to disclose the sources of campaign finance and amounts. Thereof, provide a ceiling on how much should be spent, and also require political parties and candidates to file reports of campaign expenditure within 90-120 days after the completion of elections.

This would be intended to promote transparency and accountability in financing Namibia’s elective politics, deter dirty money from penetrating the country’s politics and prevent the “monster” of monetisation/commercialisation of politics which thrives in political contexts where there are no explicit campaign finance legal framework.

Namibia’s next general elections are due in 2024

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