NGHISHIIKOH Joshua Nghishiikoh, the three-times losing candidate in the contest for the highest political office in the Ogongo constituency of the Omusati Region, is not happy that he might not be in the contest this time around.
He said that his understanding is that his party, the Rally for Democracy and Progress (RDP), has decided against fielding a candidate in Ogongo “as it would be a waste of scarce resources.”
However, RDP spokesperson Nghininilwandubo Kashume said that the final decision has yet to be made.
“I think we are going to contest one constituency in Omusati, and that is Ogongo constituency. The issue is still open,” he said.
Nghishiikoh contested, and lost, three consecutive elections in Ogongo.
As candidate of the Congress of Democrats (CoD) he faced Swapo’s Sackey Kayone, who was simultaneously the Omusati regional governor.
Then, as RDP candidate, he twice challenged Swapo’s Wilhelm Iyambo, the incumbent constituency councillor.
Nghishiikoh said that he was informed by RDP head office that the party is not fielding a candidate for Ogongo this time round.
“That is true that participation in elections costs money and it is primarily about winning, but failing to win is not necessarily time and money wasted. Participating in elections is also a way of affording voters their democratic right to choose. Additionally, it is a way of gauging public opinion, to determine one’s level of support and use that to formulate a strategy for future elections,” said Nghishiikoh.
Speaking to Informanté, Kashume outlined the RDP’s preparedness saying that “we are ready, more than ever before” to contest a big number of constituencies and local authorities countrywide.
He said that no final decision was yet made on whether or not to field a candidate in Ogongo, the only constituency in Omusati that is under consideration.
He said that his party is contesting three constituencies in Ohangwena, namely Omundaungilo, Oshikango and Endola.
The RDP is also fielding candidates for the local authorities of Eenhana and Helao Nafidi.
Kashume said that the RDP is planning to contest three constituencies in the Oshana Region and will also present lists of candidates for the region’s three local authorities – Ondangwa, Ongwediva and Oshakati.
However, in the Oshikoto Region, the RDP is only participating in the Tsumeb local authority elections.