All set for Otjiwarongo by-election

30 January 2020 | Politics

The Swapo Party has nominated Marlene Mbakera as its candidate for the upcoming Otjiwarongo Constituency by-election and has registered her with the Electoral Commission of Namibia (ECN).

The party's regional coordinator for Otjozondjupa, Susan Hikopua, confirmed this and emphasised that the party must at all times “be put first” and all other issues must be secondary.

The party's secretary-general (SG), Sophia Shaningwa, had submitted the names of four people, who she said had been vetted and cleared to stand as candidates at the district conference.

In response, Hikopua pointed out that the party's rules and procedures made provision for the nomination of candidates by the “legitimate and current” district executive committee.

“No district within the structures of Swapo has two executive committees working ion parallel; why is this illegal act only acceptable in the Otjiwarongo district?” she asked.

The names submitted by Shaningwa were different from those the Otjiwarongo district executive committee had submitted. Shaningwa's list consisted of Godhard Hoko, Gottlieb Shivute, Magano Johannes and Theresia Kukenge.

“Comrade [Shaningwa], the continued ignorance and side-lining of the legit leadership of the Otjiwarongo district is clearly an organised factional activity that goes beyond the recognised norms of Swapo,” Hikopua wrote.

Meanwhile, the Popular Democratic Movement (PDM) has withdrawn its candidate from the Otjiwarongo by-election and will instead rally behind independent candidate Erastus Kaulikufwa Mbumba.

ECN chief electoral officer Theo Mujoro and Swapo spokesperson Hilma Nicanor were unavailable for comment.

[email protected]

JEMIMA BEUKES

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