Grootfontein by-election: Voters’ turn-out slow

GROOTFONTEIN; Voting in the Grootfontein by-election underway here is going at a very slow pace.

Short queues were seen immediately after the polling stations opened at 07h00 on Thursday, but these also faded as the day progressed.

Presiding officers at the different polling stations told Nampa around midday on Thursday that the process is very peaceful, but painstakingly slow.

At the number 303 mobile polling station, only 55 people had voted by 12h00, and at the 301 mobile polling station, only 32 voters had cast their ballots around the same time.

At the Omulunga Community Hall polling station, only 220 registered voters cast their votes, and 247 at the Omulunga Primary School polling station.

Penehas Amadhila, the presiding officer at the Omulunga Community Hall, said they expect more people after 17h00 as most voters had gone to work.

“We expect the number of voters to increase as the day progresses,” said Sharon Mwilima, the election officer in charge at the Omulunga Primary School polling station.

Presiding officers Alvina Uru-khaes of Mobile 303 and Alma Kashipi of Mobile 301 echoed similar sentiments, saying they expect more people after 17h00.

The Grootfontein Constituency, situated in the Otjozondjupa Region, has been without a councillor since the death of Bromeus Matheus in March this year.

Several political parties are contesting this one-day by-election.

They are the Swapo Party, Rally for Democracy and Progress (RDP), All People’s Party (APP), Swanu of Namibia (Swanu), National Unity Democratic Organisation (Nudo) and the DTA of Namibia.

There are 25 polling stations – eight fixed points and 17 mobile polling stations – and about 141 polling officials.

A total of 16 993 registered voters are expected to cast their votes on Thursday.

Results will be announced early on Friday morning.