With Election Day 2019 fast approaching, parties are gearing up for what is probably the most memorable, politically-charged election year since independence in March 1990.
This year’s national ballot has proven to be historical, with two parties forming a coalition, PDM and UPM, an Independent Candidate who is a SWAPO member running for president and massive corruption scandals and ministerial resignations dumped onto the Namibian electorate just prior to the polls.
Elections are scheduled for Wednesday, the 27th November. The different parties and candidates are putting up one last fight to win over the Namibian people. The contenders for this year’s elections include SWAPO, PDM, LPM, NUDO,
With this in mind, the Windhoek Observer contacted a representative from each party for a general comment.
During a telephonic conversation, SWAPO party Executive Director Austin Samupwa was certain of SWAPO and current president, Hage Geingob’s win in the upcoming 2019 elections and boasted about the party’s successful governance since independence.
“SWAPO will win. President Hage Geingob will win-with no doubt.” He further added, “Swapo will win because we implement most of what we tell you [Namibian Public]. We deliver on what we promise, and we will continue to do the same.”
When questioned on the party’s election campaign, Samupwa said everything went perfectly and that the party had covered every part of Namibia.
“Our campaign went perfectly. We had sections in the different districts, with each having a section leader and branch coordinator who was told to campaign door-to-door and talk directly to the people in their area about SWAPO and our manifesto,” he said.
The last official rally for the SWAPO party will take place on the 23rd November in Windhoek.
The Popular Democratic Movement (PDM) Vice President, Jennifer van der Heever remained optimistic about their goal of breaking SWAPO’s two-thirds majority in parliament.
“We aim to take over the government. We hope two break the two-thirds majority of SWAPO in parliament. Our end goal is for our president [McHenry Venaani] to become the president of Namibia.”
Van der Heever added that the party would remain optimistic after all the votes were tallied.
“Whatever the outcome of the elections, we will remain genuine and keep fighting for Namibians. PDM and McHenry Venaani will work tirelessly for the people of Namibia,” she reiterated.
As for the party’s election campaign, the Vice President said everything is on track and that they have been busy all over the country.
“We covered all regions. We went around talking to people about voting and how to vote…We have received a positive and welcoming response throughout our campaign. Venaani is a seasoned and consistent leader who engages all.”
PDM will host a rally in Opuwo on the 23rd November, with the last one, on Sunday the 24 November in Windhoek.
Landless People’s Movement (LPM) Deputy President Henny Seibeb commented on his party’s efforts as they wind up their activities.
“Our campaign for this year’s elections has gone well. Even though we are challenged by a lack of domestic and international funding, we did well. We had to rely on the goodwill and kindness of the people who believe in our party; who are mainly urban laborers. We are the poor people’s party, unlike SWAPO that is backed by business people.”
The passionate Deputy President added that due to the lack of funding, they could not reach all the regions in Namibia. In spite of this, they tried to reach Namibians through radio and other media.
As for election outcomes, Seibeb said the party will see an improvement.
‘We think we will do well. Our party will not be a one-day thing. This movement will remain in place. We keep making progress. This movement is here to stay and we are not going anywhere,” he boasted.
The last leg of the LPM campaign will take place in Keetmanshoop on Sunday, the 24th September.
One of the other parties also vying for a chance to break SWAPO’s two-third majority, is NUDO. This party is the first to elect a female president and field her as a national presidential candidate. When speaking to NUDO Secretary-General Joseph Kauandenge, on their campaign for this year’s elections, he said their election went well and they were able to reach different parts of Namibia, including the North.
For their election prospects, he said “We have to be realistic. As much as we want to win the presidency, the odds are stacked against us, especially in terms of funding. So for now, our hope is to gain more seats in parliament.”
NUDO’s last election campaign rally will take place in Windhoek on Saturday the 23rd November.
As for Independent Candidate, Panduleni Itula, the Windhoek Observer could not get a response from questions emailed to his team by the time we went to print.
According to social media, the Independent candidate is on a roadshow campaigning for the presidency, having started in Mariental on the 21 November 2019.