• September 22nd, 2019

RDP, RP merger in balance

Politics, Features
Politics, Features

WINDHOEK - The Republican Party (RP) will next week announce whether it will go ahead with plans to merge with the official opposition party, the Rally for Democracy and Progress (RDP) before the national general elections due in November. RP president Henk Mudge told New Era this week that his party will convene a media conference to reveal whether the party will merge with RDP or not. “You just need to be patient, because my plan is to issue a press statement on Monday, whatever will happen will be said then. We will have a media conference on Monday or Tuesday,” said Mudge. RDP secretary general Mike Kavekotora said he is not aware of next week’s media conference and indicated plans to merge with the RP are not yet cast in concrete. “The move is still on the cards, but nothing is concrete yet. We just have to wait until we cross that bridge,” said Kavekotora. Critics have questioned the merger since the two parties mooted it a few years ago and many wonder if the proposed political marriage would last, since the RDP finds itself in financial dire straits and they ask who would benefit the most, if plans to merge the two parties are successful. It will be the Republican Party’s second merger stint since its inception in 1977, the very same year it joined the DTA until the two parties went their separate ways in 2003. The two are among many parties looking to unseat the Swapo Party during this year’s national general elections. Political campaigns are slowly gaining momentum as parties look to form new coalitions and alliances, while others are lining up extensive mobilization campaigns to ensure they are not only contestants, but also credible competitors during the November polls. Political commentator, Dr Andrew Niikondo, is of the opinion the two parties are better off apart for the sake of their followers. “I do not think the marriage will materialize, because it is only spoken of when there are elections,” he said. This is not about the leaders only, warned Niikondo, adding that if the followers of the two parties do not support the move the parties could lose support. “It seems the purpose of this planned coalition is to strengthen capacity in terms of voters, if it happens, I do not see it lasting,” said Niikondo. Another political commentator, Dr Hoze Riruako favours the planned merger, because it would strengthen the opposition in his view, although he foresees problems when it comes to deciding on the ultimate leadership of the coalition should the merger take place. Riruako says the merging of political parties in the opposition arena is the only way they can give the ruling party, a run for its money during the upcoming elections. “I do not foresee problems should they merge, because our opposition parties lack clear cut political ideologies, they seem to be pursuing different programmes,” he said. “It will be a good move, said Riruako, “I have been on record saying that opposition parties should opt for alliances or [coalitions].” Talk of the political marriage between the two began in 2010, and Riruako is of the opinion that it has been delayed because the RP and RDP are hoping more parties would join the coalition. According to Riruako the RDP is set to benefit more if the merger takes place, because it will increase its following and as for RP it would merely be a way to keep its head above water.   By Mathias Haufiku  
New Era Reporter
2014-02-14 09:10:06 5 years ago

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