Geingob to announce VP, PM and DPM

WINDHOEK: President-elect and current Prime Minister Hage Geingob is expected to announce the vice-president, Prime Minister as well as Deputy Prime Minister in due course.

A statement issued by his office here on Tuesday said 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.

According to amendments made to the Namibian Constitution last year, the president will appoint and replace his vice-president (VP), but only from Members of the National Assembly (NA) who should then resign their seat once appointed as VP.

This proposal was made to retain the Prime Minister (PM) as the leader of government business in parliament and the coordinator of the work of Cabinet as head of administration.

The VP’s functions will be to deputise, advice and assist the president in the execution of his functions.

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.

Approached for comment on whether it is constitutional for Geingob to announce candidates for the three positions before he is sworn as president, Chairperson of the Law Reform and Development Commission (LRDC) Sacky Shanghala said there is “no problem”.

“Announcing his intention and saying ‘I am appointing’ are two different statements,” he said.

Shanghala told this agency that it is in fact better for Geingob to announce his intentions now as this would help with security checks on, for instance, whether these candidates are fit to stand office, and if they were picked from the Swapo-Party’s list of candidates going to parliament.