Official opposition party, DTA, has called for a grand coalition with other parties in a bid to unseat the ruling party during the 2019 National Assembly and Presidential elections.
This was said by DTA Secretary General, Manuel Ngaringombe, on Tuesday at a press conference where the party announced its rebranding exercise.
Ngaringombe said the party will invite other parties to join them under the new identity.
He said it was time that the whole of Southern African Development Community (SADC) liberated itself from liberation war movements that have failed the public.
“SADC is being led by autocratic parties that want to rule forever. SADC needs parties that can come up with new ideas,” he said.
Ngaringombe said the fragmentation of opposition parties in the country is a cause for concern, thus they need to come together as a strong force to challenge the ruling party at the 2019 polls.
“We are calling on all opposition parties to stand together and fight the ruling party,” he said.
Last year, opposition parties in Namibia visited Kenya to study that country’s coalition model and how the opposition can potentially replicate a similar model.
While in Kenya, they met with opposition leader, Raila Odinga, as well as co-principal of the Coalition for Reform and Democracy, Moses Watengula.
Rally for Democracy and Progress (RDP) President, Jeremia Nambinga, refused to comment on the coalition plans, while NUDO President, Asser Mbai, said the idea is not something new.
He said the idea has been on the cards for a couple of years, but gained momentum last year when they visited Kenya.
“This is an idea on the table. It is a very excellent idea because we will not be able to defeat SWAPO if we continue to fight separately. I believe that after our respective congresses, we shall come together,” Mbai said.
This comes at a time when opposition parties in the country have been criticised as irrelevant, ineffective and without a significant constituency.
Critics say that opposition parties have failed to grow and have become irrelevant to the hopes and aspirations of the Namibian people.
There are currently 16 registered political parties with the Electoral Commission of Namibia, some formed before independence.
Reports suggest that most of the opposition parties are on the verge of collapsing logistically and administratively, with their founders and members bickering over funds and representation in Parliament.
Opposition parties only have 19 seats out of the 96 seats in the National Assembly.
Most of the opposition parties also do not have functioning structures and some have had the same leaders since their formation, and their youth structures are either not functioning or are non-existent when compared to the ruling party.