Staff Reporter Windhoek-Namibian opposition parties have different views on calls urging them to form a coalition grouping for the 2019 elections that will see them battle it out with the ruling Swapo party. New Era spoke to various parties recently and Mike Kavetora of the Rally for Progress and Democracy (RDP), said his party has expressed an interest in an opposition coalition since its formation in 2017. “A fragmented opposition will not have an impact. We have engaged other parties and have a committee chaired by United Democratic Front’s (UDF) vice president.” He said other opposition parties approached by the RDP have expressed interest and that it all depends on negotiations moving forward. Issues of funding and modalities on parliamentary representation still need to be discussed. He said a meeting with other parties would soon take place when parliament resumes as it is currently on recess. “It is time we look at the bigger picture and put aside political differences as supporting a coalition setup is for the interest of the Namibian people,” Kavetora emphasised. The issue of Electronic Voting Machines (EVMs) will also be discussed as opposition parties are calling for free and fair elections, he added. Meundju Jahanika of Nudo said his party has had discussions on forming a coalition and seven parties are now part of a working committee on forming the mooted coalition. New Era is reliably informed that opposition parties UDF, RDP, NUDO, RP, PDM, Swanu and WRP were part of such negotiations to form a coalition. All People’s Party (APP) is said to have shown no interest in joining a coalition. Apuis !Auxab said although UDF was part of the discussions, he believes it will not be wise for the party to join a coalition as people were still processing the transformation of DTA to the Popular Movement of Democracy (PDM) and the set up of the Landless People’s Movement from a land movement to a political party . UDF however has not ruled out any coalition in the long-term if the political environment is conducive as the party is currently preoccupied with its internal political issues. !Auxab revealed that the UDF’s priority is mostly to focus on the Kunene region as radical transformation needs to take place so the party can regain its support in that area. “We have to transform the political environment there to retake Kunene region. It’s a must for us and any UDF member with that political vision must assist,” !Auxab said. Stabilising UDF foundations and branches is important, said !Auxab. The UDF president said the political environment must be beneficial and that the party is closely analysing the political environment. Although Lukato Lukato of NDP told this daily that his party was ready to take part in such discussions on a proposed coalition, he added it was just a matter of invitation and principle. “I have been calling upon them (opposition parties) since our formation for a coalition in the interest of the Namibian political parties,” he said. Lukato believes the opposition could work together and he called for unity to take over power from the ruling Swapo in the 2019 elections. United People’s Movement’s Jan van Wyk said UPM is ready to go into coalition talks any time.
2018-01-25 09:40:58 7 months ago