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Roundtable Discussion: Elections & Good Governance

The Hanns Seidel Foundation (HSF) in conjunction with its project partner Catholic Parliamentary Liaison office (CPLO), had a round table in Keetmanshoop at the Don Bosco School, to discuss “Elections and Governance in Constitutional Democracy: Promoting accountability and Citizen Participation.” 

In a presentation given by Fr. (Lt. Col) Afunde the director of the CPLO, he said that elections are very important to the church, and the church values the democratic system. He emphasised that the CPLO is the bridge between the church and the State. He also echoed the importance of the participation of church in the democratic concern. 

Mr. Urich Freyer was the representative from the Electoral Commission of Namibia (ECN). He outlined that the ECN promotes inclusive participation. He emphasised that the power is vested in the citizenry, for the word democracy means rule by the people.  He also said that “democracy needs elections, elections don’t need democracy.” 

A youth activist by the name of Raymond Kaffer emphasised the importance for youth to participate in the democratic process, the youth have the power to change the course of history. He spoke on some of the reasons as to why the youth do not participate in elections. 

  1. The cycle of poverty that the youth are currently in, 2) lack of role models, 3) the vast amounts of corruption that the youth see. 

Kaffer also spoke about how the youth are not educated on the importance of elections. He echoed that it was a platform to voice views and play a part in the greater good. 

Bishop Willem Christiaans from the diocese of Keetmanshoop, said that the church was silent and the reasoning behind why people do not vote are diverse. 

The Q & A session was the last item on the agenda with those in attendance asking questions to the panellists. The roundtable discussion was well attended and well received.