Eveline de Klerk
WALVIS BAY - Swapo vice-president Netumbo Nandi-Ndaitwah has reiterated the ruling party’s position that members aspiring to stand as independent candidates in elections must first quit the party.
Commenting on the issue of independent candidates, which has dominated conversations in recent months, Nandi-Ndaitwah said there are deliberate attempts to mislead party members by making them believe they can stand as independents while retaining Swapo membership.
She said this matter needed to be cleared before the party participates in this year’s general elections.
“We must be closer to our people and not pre-occupy ourselves with non-issues,” she said during a party fundraising gala dinner here on Saturday.
“Let us focus on the elections as we need to win it like in the past. We have to raise our bar and win the election as per the tradition of the Swapo party,” Nandi-Ndaitwah, who triples as international relations minister and deputy prime minister, told the congregation of party diehards.
The issue of independent candidates must be understood in its right context, warned the Swapo vice-president.
“You can stand in any elections [as an independent candidate] if you qualify according to the constitution. But ‘independence’, as the word suggests, means [being independent] from any political party. You cannot be an independent candidate and be from a political party as parties elect their own candidates,” she said.
According to her, Swapo’s way of nominating candidates has been hailed internationally.
“I am telling you as a minister of international relations and cooperation that our system is admired. That is how we know since 2017 that President Hage Geingob is our candidate,” she said.
The Swapo succession policy dictates that the party president is its automatic candidate in national presidential elections.
With the party’s constitution as clear as daylight on independent candidates, Nandi-Ndaitwah feels Swapo must preoccupy itself with more important issues ahead of this year’s election.
She described the independent candidate debates as a ‘non-issue’.
“Therefore let us remain united and give the people the right message. People united and vying for a common goal will emerge victorious,” she told the gathering.
Eveline de Klerk
2019-05-14 09:03:43 5 days ago