KEERMANSHOOP - New kid on the block, the Landless People’s Movement (LPM) surpassed the expectations of many by coming out top among the winners in the majority of //Kharas region’s constituencies during the just-ended Presidential and National Assembly elections.
During an exclusive interview with New Era, Antonio Stuurmann, the acting regional Commissar for LPM, attributed its victory to “an understanding of establishing and maintaining a deep relationship with the region’s inhabitants, showing a compassionate leadership towards their needs and aspirations.”
He noted this was what changed the mind-set of the electorates.
“Society can only change if there is empathy for their hopes and aspirations,” he said.
Stuurmann explained that LPM has been established without any funding, locally or internationally.
“We built the party on the foundation of a good relationship and love for our people,” he emphasized.
He said it was the passion the people saw in the movement’s leader Bernadus Swartbooi during his term as //Kharas regional governor that convinced them to make a change when voting for last Wednesday’s national elections.
“As you experienced during the past elections, statistics speak for itself in //Kharas region and that serves as proof why we were so successful despite a lack of funding,” he stressed.
Stuurmann said LPM had embarked on a three-year continuous campaign strategy, being in a continuous relationship with their supporters.
This, according to him was unlike other political parties who only emerged during the campaigns that started before the elections.
“We are confident to improve on this year’s success comes the regional council-and-local authority elections next year,” he said.
He furthermore reasoned that this year’s achievement will inspire the electorates, making them realise that LPM is indeed a force in Namibia.
Stuurmann pledged the party “will have a robust debate and engagement to hold those party members entering the National Assembly next year accountable to advocate for changes, addressing existing challenges in the country.” He then mentioned that issues like the unresolved genocide negotiations, ancestral land restitution, unavailability of land and social injustices are examples of burning challenges to be addressed.
“Once this is done, it will fast track development in our country,” he added.
“Many of our youth supporters, especially in rural areas were left out during the recent elections since they did not have voter registration cards,” he noted.
He then explained that LPM will have a vigorous campaign, providing voter-and-civic education to people in order to qualify them to vote during next year’s elections. “This will at the end increase our success rate in terms of gaining more votes,” said the party representative.
He said the lack of development and poverty made people seek for a sustainable alternative and that, according to him is LPM, who will ensure socio-economic development and fast track land and agrarian reforms.
Stuurmann explained the movement’s groundwork has already started on 28 November 2019, in light of the upcoming by-elections, adding they are confident of being successful in such