Updated June 2006
In 1994 the Electoral Commission of Namibia (ECN) drew up a draft of an electoral code of conduct to be endorsed and signed by political parties and circulated it amongst party representative; after incorporating their proposals a final "Code of Conduct for Political Parties" ("the Code") was adopted by the ECN (Tötemeyer 1996, 40, 41; Electoral Commission of Namibia 1994). In terms of Namibian electoral law the ECN is entitled to issue guidelines for the conduct of elections by political parties that are legally enforceable (Electoral Act 1992, 43(2)). The Code does not, however, have such legal status but many of its prohibitions are also violations of electoral or ordinary law and are enforceable as such (Tötemeyer 1996, 41; Lodge 1999, 30).
By way of preamble the Code notes:
An essential part of free and fair elections is freedom of political campaigning. Everyone has the right to express his or her political convictions and ideas, without threat or fear of intimidation. Freedom of political campaigning, however, also carries responsibilities which include the freedom of others to express their own and independent opinion.
The Code requires that political parties, associations, organisations and independent candidates abjure all forms of intimidation and respect the right of all to freedom of access to voters. It closes with measures for its implementation.
Intimidation is impermissible in any form and to ensure that is eliminated political parties, associations, organisations and independent candidates agree that:
To implement the Code the parties agree that:
ELECTORAL ACT (NO 24) OF 1992 as amended in 1994, 1998 and 1999.
ELECTORAL COMMISSION OF NAMIBIA 1994, "Code of Conduct for Political Parties", [www] http://www.ecn.gov.na/Code%20of%20Conduct%20for%20Parties.htm [opens new window] (accessed 8 Mar 2010).
LODGE, T 1999, Handbook of Namibian Electoral Laws and Regulations 1999, EISA.
TÖTEMEYER, GKH, 1996, "The legal framework and organisational requirements" IN Tötemeyer, GKH, Weiland H & Wehmhorner A, (eds), Elections in Namibia, Friedrich-Edert-Stiftung/Gamsberg Macmillan Publishers, 40-42, 222-223.