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Elect Leaders Who Foster Human Values, Bishops in Namibia Tell Eligible Voters

Regional Council and Local Authority Elections scheduled for November 25 in Namibia.

Ahead of the November 2020 elections in Namibia, Catholic Bishops in the Southern Africa country have called on eligible Namibian voters to consider voting in candidates who are part of political entities that foster human values rather than mere “deep-felt loyalties.”

“The fact remains that most Namibians still vote based on deep-felt loyalties. Too often, the identifying factors are tribal and community affiliation, race, class position in society, language group or simply an unshakable historical affiliation,” the members of the Namibian Catholic Bishops’ Conference (NCBC) say in their collective statement published October 2.

The Bishops calls on Namibians to “closely and critically scrutinize the detailed contents of the manifestos and messages of the various political parties and associations.”

They highlight some principles of Social Catholic Teaching, which eligible voters in Namibia need to pay attention to.

“We encourage the citizenry to judge a party and/or association on its overall policy regarding the key values of the gospel such as, promoting life and the dignity of the human person, option for the poor and vulnerable, justice and solidarity, rights responsibilities, and care for God's creation in relation to the challenges facing Namibia,” members of the NCBC say.

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They add, “We also wish that the electorates exercise their democratic choices based on the objective conditions as they exist on the ground,” they add.

Regional and local authority elections in the Southern Africa nation are set to take place November 25 with eligible voters expected to elect local and regional representatives. The leadership of the Electoral Commission of Namibia (ECN) has said that the polls will go forward on schedule despite COVID-19.

In their collective statement signed by NCBC President, Archbishop Liborius Ndumbukuti Nashenda, the Bishops call on eligible voters to exercise their civic duty.

“We call upon and encourage all registered voters in Namibia to participate in the upcoming very important Regional and Local Authority elections,” they say.

The Bishops add that Namibians getting out and voting “is with the view to exercise their democratic fundamental human rights and to freely and consciously elect leaders who would represent and serve their genuine and best interests to the best of their abilities at regional and local levels.”

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“It is the people through free, fair, transparent, credible, and democratic elections, who transfer the exercise of this authority, but they retain possession of it,” NCBC members say, making reference to Article 1(2) of the country’s Constitution, which states, “All power shall be vested in the people of Namibia who shall exercise their sovereignty through the democratic institutions of the State.”

They laud the Namibian Government, all political parties, civil society organizations, and the citizenry, “for our continued contributions to bring about sustainable human development in the country with the objective of achieving equitable distribution of resources and a decent standard of living for all.”

“We also recognize all efforts aimed at promoting and maintaining peace, stability, co-existence and social cohesion in the country,” the Bishops in Namibia say in their October 2 collective message.