Opposition parties concerned about people not minding a one-party state

Erasmus Shalihaxwe

Opposition party leaders have expressed disappointment that most Namibians don’t mind a dominant-party system as long as elections are free and fair.

This reaction follows an Afrobarometer study, which revealed that a majority of Namibians believe it does not matter if one political party always wins elections and continuously governs the country, provided the elections are free and fair.

Joseph Kauandenge, the secretary general of the National Unity Democratic Organisation (NUDO), bemoaned the indoctrination that has led people to view a one-party state as innocuous.

“I thought by now they had embraced democracy as a better system of governance. Thus, it is disheartening to hear such sentiments from our people,” he said.

Kauandenge added that the past 33 years of independence under one ruling party should have taught Namibians that this issue of one party dominating the political sphere is not beneficial at all.

“There should be checks and balances, to the extent that no one party dominates; only then can we craft and implement genuine policies to help our people out of poverty,” he said.

Independent Patriots for Change (IPC) spokesperson, Imms Nashinge shared the same sentiment, stating that IPC believes a vibrant democracy requires regular changes in power to ensure accountability and responsiveness to the people’s needs.

“IPC advocates for a political environment where multiple parties can compete fairly, providing voters with genuine choices and fostering better governance, not a one-party dominant regime,” he said.

He added that the IPC strives to promote good governance, fight corruption, and ensure that democratic principles are upheld.

The party’s policy framework, according to Nashinge, focuses on transparency, accountability, and effective governance to ensure that democracy in Namibia not only functions well but also serves the people equitably.

Popular Democratic Movement (PDM) Member of Parliament Maximillian Katjimune noted that many people are becoming disillusioned with democracy due to persistent challenges regarding corruption, unemployment, poverty, and inequality.

“Challenges regarding corruption, unemployment, poverty, and inequality can also exist under an autocracy. So this disillusion is also misguided to a large extent. We have to protect our democracy and constitutional order at all costs. We cannot allow a situation whereby the state falls into a coup d’état. Such a possibility must be condemned in its entirety,” cautioned Katjimune.

The study found that a sizable minority, however, believe it’s beneficial for democracy if power changes hands via elections from time to time.

Despite widespread support for democracy, the study found that a slim majority of Namibians believe it is legitimate for the armed forces to control the government if elected leaders abuse power for their own interests.

The study also indicated that the majority of Namibians prefer democracy over any other political system, believe that Namibia needs many political parties to ensure voter choice, and feel that the country has a well-functioning democracy.

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