Opposition rejects Swapo left, right and centre

02 December 2020 | Politics

OGONE TLHAGE



WINDHOEK

Two opposition parties proposed by Swapo as potential coalition partners in areas where the ruling party has failed to obtain clear majorities in the just-ended regional and local authority elections have distanced themselves from the proposed partnerships.

Swapo secretary-general Sophia Shaningwa on Monday wrote to party regional coordinators in the Erongo, Kunene, Otjozondjupa and Omaheke regions to help tie the National Unity Democratic Organisation (Nudo) and the United Democratic Front (UDF) down into coalitions at local authorities in those regions.

Shaningwa also asked Swapo leaders in Zambezi to seek alliance with incoming Kongola constituency independent councillor Likukela Basihu.

The councillor, however, dodged such alliances.

“I can’t remember agreeing with someone or saying I want to merger with someone or have a coalition. It really pains me a lot that people on social media are speculating or pointing fingers at me about this,” Basihu said.

Fall from grace

The ruling party failed to win majority seats at about 30 of the country’s 57 local authorities following last week’s tight election.

The party lost key economic hubs including the capital Windhoek, Walvis Bay, Swakopmund, Lüderitz, Okahandja and Keetmanshoop.

Towns in Kunene are now controlled by Popular Democratic Movement (PDM) and UDF.

In Omaheke, Swapo also failed to win majority seats at the regional capital Gobabis, paving the way for an opposition coalition to take charge.

Rejecting overtures extended by Swapo, Nudo secretary-general Josef Kauandinge informed his fellow party members that coalitions would be entered into with the Landless Peoples Movement (LPM) and the PDM in Gobabis.

In Okakarara, unity would be sought with PDM, he said.

‘No, thanks’ to Swapo

“We decided to enter into coalition talks with the PDM in Okakarara and with the various opposition parties in Gobabis, which include the LPM, the Residents Association and PDM,” Kauandenge wrote.

“As far as the Windhoek municipality and Omaruru is concerned, we are still in discussion with our structures on the ground and we will inform the public as soon as possible,” he added.

UDF central committee member Daniel Tsaneb also rejected coalitions with Swapo.

“The Arandis UDF local branch distances itself from the Swapo circulating letter on social media. This is not a local branch decision and we will not go with such coalition agreement, because this coalition agreement was attended by central committee and lacks its collective endorsement (sic),” Tsaneb said.

‘Suicidal agreement’

According to Tsaneb, planned coalitions with Swapo would be suicide for UDF.

“This will be a suicidal agreement for local branches as it make it difficult to convince electorates while the rest of the opposition moves in the direction to force Swapo out of power,” he said.

Shaningwa was unavailable when contacted for comment, while Swapo secretary for information, Hilma Nicanor, did not respond to calls made by Namibian Sun.

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