Analyst welcomes Geingob’s intention to announce VP, PM and DPM

WINDHOEK: Political Analyst Dr Nico Horn has welcomed the approach by President-elect Dr Hage Geingob to announce some members of his Cabinet in due course.

He told Nampa on Wednesday that the announcement is welcome, “if this is an attempt on his part to let the general public in to his decision making processes”.

A statement issued by the Prime Minister’s Office on Tuesday revealed that Geingob intends to make a major announcement on 02 February 2015 as far as his plans of setting up the country’s next government is concerned.

It said that Geingob, who is currently Prime Minister, will announce the Vice-president, Prime Minister, Deputy Prime Minister and formation of the Presidential Council.

Geingob is set to be sworn-in as president on 21 March 2015.

“This would definitely give the public a chance to agree or disagree with his announcements, and it would also give them (public) the platform to see if these announcements are made in line with the new Constitutional amendments,” said Horn.

Another way of looking at it, Horn explained, is that the earlier announcement leaves room for Geingob to also change his mind on certain candidates as he still has a month before the swearing-in ceremony.

The move would also ease tension amongst the ruling party’s members who are on the list to go to parliament, he added, stating that from experience he is aware of the constant gossip about who will get a position and who not.

“We should also understand that the president-to-be is very different from our two previous and serving Heads of State Dr Sam Nujoma and Hifikepunye Pohamba, respectively. He is a much more independent thinker,” Horn noted.

Meanwhile, Horn said the most essential attributes Namibia is looking for in a vice-president is someone who can step into the shoes of a president and lead if anything has to happen to him (president).

“I would expect this candidate to be a people’s person and somebody who would be the choice of the general public and not just that of the Swapo-Party,” Horn indicated.

The position of VP will be a first since Namibia’s independence in 1990.

Local unconfirmed reports have it that the front runner for the VP post is current Foreign Affairs Minister Netumbo Nandi-Ndaitwah, while Swapo-Party Chief Whip Professor Peter Katjavivi is the top candidate for the PM position – a move considered to balance the minority and gender groups in the party.