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Presidential Transition Bill still on the cards

2014-08-11  Mathias Haufiku

Presidential Transition Bill still on the cards
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WINDHOEK-The shelved Presidential Transition Bill is not off the cards but it will be revived when required in future, said Minister of Presidential Affairs Minister Dr Albert Kawana.

The minister said this a fortnight ago while motivating Namibia’s Constitution Third Amendment Bill in the National Assembly.

“While we agree with the content of the proposed Presidential Transition Bill, we will not place it before this August House during this session, and when it is required in the future, we can revive it.” said Kawana.

Kawana said it is unfortunate that plans to introduce the bill were used to assassinate the character of Prime Minister Dr Hage Geingob.

“Mister Speaker, this is the background that led us to the content of the Third Namibian Constitution Amendment Bill.,” Kawana said.

According to Kawana: “Some of us said that the media would distort it, and it would be made to look like the Prime Minister was up to something to make his office bigger, get more cars and bodyguards. As a matter of fact, the LRDC Chairperson will inform you, if you ask him, that even Comrade Pendukeni did not find that Bill relevant for this transition, and it is exactly what the Right Honorable Prime Minister uttered to us during the consultations. However, as you are aware, the LRDC is independent, and the LRDC insisted that the Bill is necessary, hence it was submitted to some political parties during consultations.”

Meanwhile, Law Reform and Development Chairperson Sacky Shanghala, told New Era that the Bill was never meant to benefit the Geingob during the transition period.

“Some people are saying it is aimed at amassing power for Hage[Geingob], how will he amass power if he is already the Prime Minister? he has bodyguards and he is the Chairman of the Cabinet Committee on Security plus he receives security briefings,” said Shanghala.

Shanghala said some opposition parties during the consultation stages proposed that the gaps between the day election results are declared and the date that the president takes office should be lessened.

“I told them this is not possible because the president is elected for five years, hence they must be given a chance to complete their entire term.” he said.

Shanghala said there is a need for a transition law to regulate what happens during the period after the election results are declared and the day the president-elect takes up office. 

In countries where Presidential Transitions Laws exist, it hands the president-elect authority to receive full security briefings, sufficient security detail for protection as well as power to request for any information from a public office which he/she deem important.

 The Bill also hands power to authorities to be mindful of problems occasioned by transitions in the office of President, to take appropriate lawful steps to avoid or minimise disruptions that might be occasioned by the transfer of the executive power, and otherwise to promote orderly transitions in the office of President.

By Mathias Haufiku

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2014-08-11  Mathias Haufiku

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