Swapo yet to confirm participation in presidential discussion

Erasmus Shalihaxwe

Swapo Secretary General Sophia Shaningwa said the party did not receive the invite to the presidential discussion, and even if it did, there is no assurance of participating.

Shaningwa said this on Monday while responding to questions about whether the party will allow its presidential candidate to participate in the presidential discussion taking place in Windhoek on Thursday.

The public discussion is organised by the Konrad Adenauer Foundation (KAS) to give presidential candidates from all political parties a platform to share their manifestos and plans to address social issues affecting the country.

According to a local daily, KAS invited independent candidates, including the ruling party Swapo, as well as political parties.

Shaningwa said she has not been in the country for the past few weeks. Therefore, she is not aware of the debate and what its intentions are.

“I just returned to the country from an overseas trip, so we didn’t receive nor were we aware of the invitation. But even if it comes in, we will first have to look at its content and see if it’s suitable for the party to participate. But let us wait and see; maybe my office has yet to bring it to my attention,” she said.

Immanuel Nashinge, the spokesperson for Independent Patriots for Change, also stated that the party will not participate in the discussion and will instead wait for the Electoral Commission of Namibia to announce the list of eligible candidates.

United Democratic Front (UDF) spokesperson Mabasen Narib said he has been delegated to represent the party at the debate, as it is an opportunity to engage the electorate on the party’s manifesto as it should in every mature democracy.

“We will definitely be there. It is a great initiative for political parties and the public to come together and engage in the way forward. Our democracy is growing, and this is an opportunity for the public to come close to people they are going to go in contact with,” said Narib.

He added that the party does not have a definite presidential candidate yet, as the central committee will sit in July to make a final decision on who should represent the party on the November ballot paper. But for now, the current party president, Hendrik Gaobaeb, is the candidate until he is fully endorsed.

“He is currently the head of the party, and that makes him the obvious candidate, but the final decision lies with the central committee. The public will be informed when everything is settled in July this year,” he explained.

The discussion is planned for Thursday in Windhoek to allow the public to engage presidential candidates on key policy issues as a way to contribute to democracy and political discourse.

Independent candidates Ally Angula and Rosa Namises confirmed their participation in the discussion.

Related Posts