A Swapo Party of Namibia veteran is warning the party against fielding too many candidates for the top four positions of the party for the upcoming party congress in November.
Warning that too many candidates would further fragment the party, leading to breakaway factions which would seriously undermine the performance of the party in the 2024 Presidential and General Elections. “Since the party agreed current party President, Hage Geingob, as the sole candidate, the battle would be for the position of Vice President, posing the greatest threat for more fragmentation in the party if more candidates are nominated.”
To date current party Vice President and Deputy Prime Minister, Netumbo Nandi-Ndaitwah, and Prime Minister Sarah Kuugongelwa-Amadhila’s names have been circulating as possible candidates for the position of Vice President of the party.
The two candidates are viewed forerunners because of their party credentials plus being female candidates as the next president is expected to be a woman in terms of the Swapo Party 50/50 zebra policy.
Recently more names,that of Jerry Ekandjo and Nahas Angula have also been popping up. Thus the party veteran is warning that with more names being touted, this could threaten the stability of the party.
“With the recent nominations and elections of regional party leaderships, some congress delegates have already made up their minds regarding their preferred candidates for the Vice Presidency, which many believe would be between Nandi-Ndwaitah and Kuugongenlwa-Amadhila.” He further warns that with only three months to congress, any candidate intending to join the Vice Presidential race is late. “During the 2012 elective congress, one advantage Geingob had in winning the Vice Presidential contest, is because he started his campaign early, while his competitors, Ekandjo and Pendukeni Ivula-Ithan, only made their intentions less than three months before congress.”
Willem Amutenya, he cites, who joined the race late having been nominated from the floor, lost. This is because according to the Swapo veteran he was disadvantaged by joining the race late. Amutenya lost out to Ephraim Nekongo because he was only nominated from the floor and did not show his intention to contest prior to the congress ala the veteran.
He further observes that the Independent Patriots for Change (IPC) emerged as a Swapo splinter group from the congested contest at the 2017th Swapo congress, which had six candidates for the two top positions of President and Vice President.
“Most members of IPC were Team Swapo and what makes it worse this time around is that the opposing candidates now were part of Team Harambee. If more candidates join the race, the factionalism would be more.” Earlier media reports claim that the Swapo Party was still considering changing rules to allow more candidates to contest and this would be to the detriment of the party.