THE Electoral Commission of Namibia (ECN) will have to make an immediate and unambiguous determination on the question of the two presidential candidates of the Swapo Party because the electorate can easily construe that it as divisive phenomenon which threatens national cohesion.
In an official statement the South West African National Union states that they view the phenomenon of two presidential candidates as a ruse and a deliberate undermining of the intelligence of the electorate.
The full statement reads as follows:
SWANU of Namibia notes with great dismay and alarm that the ruling party has, in effect, fielded two presidential candidates from the same party in contravention of the law. By allowing the presidency of Panduleni Itula and Have Geingob to stand is unacceptable and a matter of such national significance with a material bearing on the election slated for next week, 27 November 2019 and therefore requires rectification without delay.
We call on the Electoral Commission of Namibia (ECN) to make an immediate and unambiguous determination on the question of the two candidates of the SWAPO Party. The fact that one runs as a so-called independent candidate does not muster credibility with us. He is a proud member of the ruling party, a position he misses no opportunity to emphasise. We consider it a ruse and a deliberate undermining of the intelligence of the electorate. Not only is the Itula candidacy a divisive phenomenon and a threat to national cohesion, it also espouses an agenda with strong ethnic overtones.
As a small parliamentary party we want to state for the record that the playing field is already skewed in favour of the ruling SWAPO Party, which receives the bulk of the parliamentary funding made available by the Namibian taxpayer to parliamentary parties. The inequitable funding undermines our democracy and perpetuates a majoritarian dictatorship by the ruling party under the guise of democracy. During the financial year 2015/16 the ruling party received funding in excess of N$600 million, dwarfing by a wide margin the collective disbursements to all opposition parties over a period of 10 years. This is a betrayal of the democratic project and a clear and present threat to our nascent democracy.
We therefore appeal to the Namibian electorate to send a clear and unambiguous message to the ruling party that this free ride is over, by voting patriotically and conscientiously come 27 November and drawing a line never to be crossed. It is in your hands and power, as the electorate, to end this ignominious status quo forthwith. Meanwhile, we wish to reiterate that the issue of the two SWAPO Party presidential candidates be addressed as a matter of urgency.