The stage is set for the country’s official opposition, the Popular Democratic Movement policy conference and election review to be held from next week in Otjiwarongo, Otjozondjupa region.
PDM secretary general, Manuel Ngaringombe said the conference would be attended by 100 delegates, selected from both within the movement and outside based on their unique set of skills and expertise.
This, according to him, will ensure that the deliberations and resolutions taken at the conference are objective, multi-faceted and comprehensive.
He said the conference, scheduled for 18 to 30 October, will be delineated into two key components, which include the policy conference that is tasked with developing and updating the movement’s policies on a wide range of contemporary social, political and economic issues.
The key thematic issues topping the agenda, Ngaringombe said, will include land, the economy, education, health, climate change and the environment, LGBTQI+ rights, abortion and gender as well as pronouncements on international conflicts.
On land, he said the policy conference is expected to develop and adopt comprehensive positions on the complex dynamics regarding agricultural, urban and ancestral land in Namibia.
While on the economy, the conference is expected to produce a tangible and workable fiscal policy, and address issues of structural inequality in the economy and contradictions in the labour market in as far as unemployment and working conditions are concerned.
“The conference is further expected to guide the movement in terms of its position on basic and higher education, and the complex dynamics involving funding and accessibility to education,” he said, adding that equally, accessibility to healthcare will be discussed, as well as issues related to climate change and the environment.
He said the policy conference will also produce the movement’s pronouncement on issues relating to LGBTQI+ rights, abortion and gender as well as crafting the movement’s stance on major international conflicts, such as Western Sahara and Israel-Palestine.
“The policies on these thematic issues will be developed and adopted by delegates at the policy conference, who will be guided by comprehensive working papers which have been prepared by a team of experts in the movement’s research department,” he stressed.
He said the second component of the conference will be the election review, which will analyse and scrutinise the performance of the movement during 2019 Presidential and National Assembly and the 2020 Regional and Local Authority elections.
Ngaringombe said delegates will be expected to robustly and honestly reflect on the current state and electoral performance of the movement, which will in turn birth the strategic plan of the PDM for 2021-2025.
“We remain confident that the movement will emerge a much more refined and renewed political party after the conference. The resolutions adopted must respond best to contemporary social, economic and political dynamics, and must be able to aid the movement to remain relevant in an ever transforming political and social environment,” he said.