Although the Affirmative Repositioning (AR) leadership says it is focused on the local elections in November, a political commentator is wondering whether AR will be able to translate its social movement politics into real national politics.
AR applied to be registered as a political organisation with the Electoral Commission of Namibia (ECN) to be able to participate in the upcoming local authority election in Windhoek come November 2020.
“The question as to what is our plan beyond the November 2020 election, we can only cross the bridge when we get there. As for now the focus is on the November 2020 election,” said the AR deputy chairperson Nathanael Kalola.
A senior lecturer in the Department of Communication at the Namibia University of Science and Technology, Admire Mare, feels its move to participate in the upcoming elections brings another key player in Namibian politics into the picture after the entry of the Landless People’s Movement (LPM) into parliament.
“Certainly, it raises the stakes a bit high in terms of local government elections but politics is very complicated unlike social movements where people sympathise with causes without engaging in the formal rituals of politics such as voting and attending rallies,” Mare noted.
The AR application was submitted to the ECN on 12 June along with the movement’s constitution, which has not yet been made public. Section 148 of the Electoral Act 5 of 2014 makes provision for associations and organisations to register and put forward candidates for local elections if at least 250 members are registered voters for that local authority.
“This has been part of the plan for three years now. The first step was when we announced this thing last year – we said that AR would participate in the local authority election in Windhoek to take over the mayoral position,” Kalola said.
ECN chief electoral and referenda officer Theo Mujoro acknowledged receipt of an AR application to register as a political organisation. He assured AR that its application is receiving ECN’s attention and it will revert to them in due course.
Last September, AR launched its draft manifesto, dubbed the Windhoek Radical Transformation (WRT), in which the movement detailed its plans for the city.
The movement plans to reduce rates and taxes, construct houses and hostels for students, implement cycling lanes and distribute thousands of bicycles, among other issues they plan to address should the leadership be voted into office.
2020-06-19 11:17:26 | 24 days ago