The millstone of incumbency

19 June 2019 | Opinion

In a study titled 'Political parties in southern Africa: The state of parties and their role in democratisation' lead author Khabele Matlosa argues succinctly that political parties are the heart of politics in a representative democracy. However, parties also have the potential to become a political liability to democracy. Whether political parties prove to be an asset or a liability depends crucially, among other things, on the context within which they operate, their mode of internal governance and how they respond to external political stimuli, according to Matlosa.

The study, which took place some years ago, summarises research and interviews with political party leaderships covering 12 SADC countries - Angola, Botswana, the DRC, Lesotho, Malawi, Mauritius, Mozambique, Namibia, South Africa, Swaziland, Zambia and Zimbabwe.

It argues that in a democracy there is no substitute for open competition between political parties in elections. But that throughout the world, however, political parties find themselves in crisis, unpopular and increasingly distrusted. They are suffering from declining membership, internal management practices that are often weak and not sufficiently democratic, and party system regulations that often set far-reaching limits to the way in which parties are allowed to operate.

Honing in on Namibia, the study concludes that the Swapo dominance that has marked the political landscape since the democratic transition of 1990 has been made possible and sustainable in the medium- to long-term due in large measure due to the advantages that come with incumbency, the liberation tradition and the weakness, disjointedness and fragmentation of opposition parties.

Whatever happens, going forward, on our political landscape it has been refreshing to witness the contestation in the Ondangwa Urban by-election, despite the pathetic voter turnout. What is becoming clear is that incumbency - given the myriad of challenges and issues being experienced in the country – is effectively becoming a millstone for the ruling party.

However, as long as the opposition largely remains fragmented, don't hold your breath for real political change, unless the internal anti-Hage Geingob forces align themselves in a broad-based new party.

Similar News

 

Cancer awareness month for youth

1 day - 22 October 2019 | Opinion

Agnes MunyakaziIt is important because it provides young people with the necessary information they need to know about cancer. Cancer awareness can also teach children...

Approval: Why we seek it

1 day - 22 October 2019 | Opinion

Michelline Nawatises From childhood, we constantly push ourselves to impress the people around us, whether they be family, friends or anybody we happen to be...

At the end of the tunnel

1 week ago - 15 October 2019 | Opinion

In his weekly election column published in Namibian Sun on Monday, Christie Keulder said although Namibians have grown in their support for the notion of...

Learners have their say on earlier school closure

1 week ago - 15 October 2019 | Opinion

Due to the upcoming general election, schools are set to close earlier this year, on 22 November. The Zone visited A Shipena Secondary School and...

Every anti-GBV effort counts

1 week ago - 14 October 2019 | Opinion

The MTC Knockout Project held over the weekend was a huge success in many ways. Naysayers, spurred on by armchair critics, had a field day...

Thank you Team Namibia!

1 week ago - 11 October 2019 | Opinion

As a super typhoon wreaks havoc on the unfolding Japan Rugby World Cup, it was announced yesterday that the final Pool B clash between Namibia...

Not voting is voting

1 week ago - 10 October 2019 | Opinion

There is fear that we might witness increased voter apathy in next month's general election due, in part, to the poor turnout observed in recent...

Rights vs responsibilities

2 weeks ago - 09 October 2019 | Opinion

It is true that one can scarcely pick up a newspaper or watch or listen to a broadcast news item these days without reading about...

A nation eating its own children

2 weeks ago - 03 October 2019 | Opinion

Child rape is increasing at an unprecedented rate in Namibia and there's nearly no sign of this ending anytime soon. In the last two weeks...

Easing divorce critical

3 weeks ago - 01 October 2019 | Opinion

Some critical pieces of legislation are currently in the pipeline. The justice ministry recently confirmed it aims to table both the divorce and rape amendment...

Latest News

Upbeat Calle preaches recovery

7 hours ago | Economics

Finance minister Calle Schlettwein says the domestic economy is projected to gradually emerge from the recession in 2020 with a moderate growth rate of about...

Shanghala plays the artful dodger

7 hours ago | Politics

CATHERINE SASMAN Justice minister Sacky Shanghala, who is alleged to have booked out electronic voting machines (EVMs) that have been missing since...

ACC probes exam 'cheating'

7 hours ago | Health

The Health Professions Council of Namibia (HPCNA) has roped in the services of the Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) to investigate allegations that cheating had rocked the...

O&L/Dinapama deal commendable

7 hours ago | Columns

The Ohlthaver & List (O&L) Group recently procured casual corporate golf shirts for its 6 000 employees from local manufacturer Dinapama. This is no ordinary...

Stable Botswana to vote in...

7 hours ago | Economics

Susan Njanji - Botswana votes today in the most closely fought general election in the history of the Southern African country, long known as...

Geingob off to Sochi

7 hours ago | International

President Hage Geingob has left for Russia to attend the first session of the Russia-Africa Summit in Sochi tomorrow.The summit is expected to be attended...

Life for plotting husband's murder

7 hours ago | Justice

Rachel Rittmann (49), who arranged the murder of her husband Rudolph Rittmann (34) for financial gain and freedom to continue a love affair, was sentenced...

In Putin’s own words

7 hours ago | Economics

The Russian news agency TASS conducted an interview with president Vladimir Putin ahead of the Russia-Africa Summit, a copy of which was provided to Business7...

Summit showcases growing clout

7 hours ago | Economics

Thibaut Marchand - President Vladimir Putin has called the first ever summit with dozens of African leaders "unprecedented" as Sochi prepared to host over 3...

Load More