Bulldozing days over

The ruling party's loss of two-thirds parliamentary majority means it may no longer amend the country's constitution willy-nilly, as has become the norm.

02 December 2019 | Local News

Swapo's tight stranglehold on parliament has been broken following the release of the seventh Presidential and National Assembly election results, ending its power to amend and change the country's constitution.

Swapo lost its two-thirds majority for the first time since 1994 after it got 65% of the vote, translating to 63 seats in the lower house of parliament. The party received 80% in the last election in 2014, winning itself 77 seats out of the total of 96.

It marks the first time that the party's stronghold on parliament has been removed since 1994, when it gained its first two-thirds majority.

Without its two-thirds majority, Swapo will not be able to amend the constitution like it did in 1999, when it gave former president Sam Nujoma an additional term in office. It will also not be able to force through constitutional amendments like it did in 2014 that allowed for the creation of the vice-president position.

Those amendments also increased National Assembly seats from 72 to 96.





Swapo will also not be able to amend existing legislation without backing from the opposition, as was the case with the Marine Resources Act in 2015.

Ironically, it was this amendment that allowed former fisheries minister Bernhardt Esau to allocate fishing quotas to Icelandic company Samherji, through state-owned enterprise Fishcor, allegedly in return for kickbacks.

Esau has been arrested in connection with the bribery scandal and is expected in court today for a bail hearing with five other suspects in the matter.



Mr 56%

Geingob secured 56% of the votes in 2019, down from the smashing 87% he had gained in 2014 when he was elected as president for the first time.

It was also the first time in the country's history that a Swapo presidential candidate gained lesser votes than the party.

The Popular Democratic Movement (PDM) made massive inroads, securing 16% of the votes cast, up from the 5% it managed to get in 2014. The official opposition has thus tripled its parliamentary seats from five to 16.

New kids on the block, the Landless People's Movement (LPM), secured 4% of the votes cast, translating into four seats in the National Assembly.

Former official opposition Rally for Democracy and Progress' downward spiral continued unabated, with the party securing a single seat for its president Mike Kavekotora.

The party got eight seats in 2009 when it made its debut in a national election.

The United Democratic Front (UDF), the National Unity Democratic Organisation (Nudo), Namibian Economic Freedom Fighters (NEFF) and the Republican Party (RP) each got two seats. The Christian Democratic Voice (CDV) and Swanu got one seat each, while the Congress of Democrats (CoD), United People's Movement (UPM) and Workers Revolutionary Party (WRP) did not make it to parliament.

Despite the good showing by the opposition, the results in some constituencies are being challenged. Opposition party leaders were also conspicuous in their absence at the Electoral Commission of Namibia (ECN) when Geingob was declared the winner, save for Nudo's Esther Muinjangue, on Saturday evening.



Swapo may eye alliances

Commenting on the results, constitutional law expert Professor Nico Horn said while Swapo had lost its dominance in parliament, it could still potentially enforce its preferred legal amendments.

“With the growth of smaller parties; Swapo could get an alliance party. They just need one person to support their any amendments that the part may want to make in the future. It is an emotional thing, in practice, it is not going to change anything,” he said.

Political commentator Ndumba Kamwanyah welcomed the development, saying it would improve accountability.

“It is about checks and balances. The two-thirds majority meant that they could make unilateral decisions at the legislative and executive branches of government,” said Kamwanyah. According to him, it was now up to the opposition parties to bring their part to the table.

“We hope the opposition will bring their fight to the party,” he said.

The loss of support for Geingob and Swapo, Kamwanyah said, also showed that the electorate had lost faith.

“It is a big message for President Geingob and Swapo. The president and the party have a divided mandate. It is up to them to interpret what it means, the people are not happy with the way things have been done,” he said.



Wounded tiger?

Institute for Public Policy Research (IPPR) director Graham Hopwood said improvements on the ground could see citizens support Geingob again.

“If people see improvements on the ground they will warm to Swapo again. A more humble and responsive approach to leadership could help him win back support,” said Hopwood.

He was concerned that Geingob could potentially react negatively to the loss of support.

“The 30% loss in support for president Geingob is dramatic. It is unclear how he and the government will react to this. They could retreat further into their shells and become more dismissive of criticism. If they do that they could pay a high political cost as I think the constant denial of responsibility and beating down of valid criticism is one factor that has annoyed many voters,” Hopwood said.

Hopwood also felt that it was time for Geingob to change his tune on corruption and, instead of making excuses such processes, systems and institutions behind which he often hides, take immediate action on things that are within his purview such as removing the corrupt and those charged with corruption from the party list.

“Instead of always blaming external factors he also needs to accept a measure of responsibility for the state of the economy as well,” he added.

OGONE TLHAGE

Similar News

 

Hitman molugodhi nelelo lyaNdangwa

20 hours ago | Local News

ILENI NANDJATOONDANGWAOmudhengingonyo nale gwoWorld Boxing Association (WBA) a simana Paulus 'The Hitman' Moses okuli molugodhi italu hulu nelelo lyondoolopa yaNdangwa, ndyoka tali popi kutya okwa...

Ooskola dhopevi dha tameke

20 hours ago | Local News

JUSTICIA SHIPENAOVENDUKAOshitopolwa oshitiyali shetameko lyooskola osha tulwa miilonga oshiwike shika, sha landula sho ooskola dha kalekwa uule woomwedhi, okuza momwedhi Maalitsa, omolwa ombuto yo Covid-19.Pahapu...

Ondangwa council in rematch with 'Hitman'

1 day - 08 July 2020 | Local News

ILENI NANDJATOONDANGWAThe dust is refusing to settle in the land conflict between the Ondangwa town council and former World Boxing Association (WBA) lightweight world champion...

Contractor sues govt for N$75m

2 days ago - 07 July 2020 | Local News

ILENI NANDJATOONDANGWA The works ministry is being taken to court for refusing to pay a contractor N$75.3 million for the construction of the Omusati...

IIia Nghipundjwa a ningi omukwatakanithi gwaSwapo mOmuthiya

2 days ago - 07 July 2020 | Local News

NAMPAONGWEDIVAAakuthimbinga yaSwapo momutumba gwomahogololo gaaleli yoshikandjo shaMuthiya, oya hogolola, Ilia Nghipundjwa onga omukwatatakanithi omupe gwoshikandjo shoka, sha landula omutumba ngoka gwa ningilwa mOmuthiyagwiipundi mOlyomakaya.Omukwateli komeho...

Ongeyo yandje oyi li mondjila: Swartbooi

2 days ago - 07 July 2020 | Local News

NAMPAOVENDUKABernadus Swartbooi okwa popi ngaaka pethimbo lyomutumba gwiikundaneki ngoka a ningi mEtine lya piti, moka a yelitha omaihumbato giilyo yoLandless People’s Movement (LPM) momutumba gwoNational...

After a successful operation, boy gets land

3 days ago - 06 July 2020 | Local News

OGONE TLHAGEOKAHANDJAOtjozondjupa governor James Uerikua has helped three-year-old Shuuya Ndeutenge, who had a growth protruding through his belly button, secure a 400-square-metre plot in Okahandja's...

War veteran's house roofless

3 days ago - 06 July 2020 | Local News

KENYA KAMBOWENDIYONAA family of nine at Ndiyona settlement in the Kavango East Region have been living in a government tent for the past eight months...

Olukongo lwAambisofi aape yaElcin lwa tameke

3 days ago - 06 July 2020 | Local News

ILENI NANDJATOONIIPAOngongahangano yoongeleka dhoEvangelical Lutheran Church in Namibia (ELCIN) otayi ilongekidhile okuhogolola aambisofi aape, pomutumba gwawo ngoka kwa tegelelwa gu ningwe muMei omvula twa taalela.Ongeleka...

Oskola yaMweshipandeka ya patwa omolwa oCovid-19

3 days ago - 06 July 2020 | Local News

ILENI NANDJATOONGWEDIVAAalongi otaya kala miilonga naanaskola mboka haya zi momuhandjo otaya kala moskola omanga aanaskola mboka haya zi komagumbo taya kala komagumbo. Etseyitho ndyoka olya...

Latest News

Namibia's airport gears for operations...

20 hours ago | Business

Namibia's flagship airport the Hosea Kutako International Airport (HKIA) is ready for its restart plan as borders are going to gradually open under the provisions...

'Swapo campaign benefitted from Fishrot'

20 hours ago | Crime

JEMIMA BEUKESWINDHOEKA State witness in the ongoing bail application of former fisheries minister Bernhardt Esau and his son-in-law Tamson Hatuikulipi dropped a bombshell yesterday when...

Itula not a competitor –...

20 hours ago | Politics

OGONE TLHAGEWINDHOEK The Affirmative Repositioning (AR) movement does not see the Independent Patriots for Change (IPC), a mooted political party led by former presidential...

Air Namibia wants its wings...

20 hours ago | Transport

OGONE TLHAGEWINDHOEKAir Namibia has written to the Transport Commission of Namibia, demanding to know why the national carrier's air services licence has been temporarily suspended.The...

Namibia receives 2.35 million...

20 hours ago | Economics

China has donated Covid-19 related supplies worth 40 million Namibian dollars (2.35 million US dollars) to Namibia to assist the country in fighting the virus,...

Time for Swapo to answer

20 hours ago | Opinion

Now more than ever, the ruling party Swapo has no excuse to maintain the deafening silence on allegations it has benefitted from the multi-million-dollar Fishrot...

Farmers rue lack of post-resettlement...

20 hours ago | Business

By Edward Mumbuu JnrSome resettlement beneficiaries have expressed discontent in governments post-resettlement support programme, which they suggest, derails the productivity and profitability of such farms.The...

San's existence under threat

20 hours ago | Environment

STAFF REPORTER WINDHOEK The San's environment is constantly under threat, and while they were once able to sustain themselves and their way of...

Pick n Pay assault twist

20 hours ago | Crime

ELLANIE SMITWINDHOEK The wife of a suspect, who can clearly be seen beating a Pick n Pay employee in a video that went viral this...

Load More