RDP Electoral College Starts in Windhoek

The Rally for Democracy and Progress (RDP)’s Electoral College, also known as the ‘basket’, kicked off in Windhoek Saturday morning.

With the passing of the Namibian Constitution’s third Amendment Bill in the National Assembly last month, the Electoral College is expected to elect 96 people for the party list, instead of the previous 72 names.

The gathering offers RDP members an opportunity to list the names of cadres who will represent the party in the National Assembly, subject to the number of seats the party wins in the National Assembly elections at the end of the year.

Officially opening the Electoral College, RDP president Hidipo Hamutenya urged party members to guard against voting for friends, relatives or people from their regions.

“We need to strike a healthy balance between women, the youth and the experienced generation in our Parliamentary list by voting with our heads and not our hearts,” Hamutenya said.

He called on them to instead come up with a dynamic team of candidates that will be a force to be reckoned with at all levels, and who will “shame the Swapo-Party list”.

The RDP president further stated that “unemployment is at an all-time high, economic development is growing at a snail’s pace, and crime is high”.

“Who is at the receiving end of these social and economic ills? The youth,” he said.

He called on the participants to give young Namibians a voice to articulate their concerns and build a future for all young people in the country.

“By saying so, I do not mean to disregard the older generation. They have had their role to play too,” Hamutenya said.

He added that the older generation has the aantage of vast experience and are well-honed in national and international politics.

“This wealth of experience can never be overlooked or undervalued. It would be foolish on our part to want to discard them,” he stressed.

Hamutenya then said women have been marginalised and side-lined for too long, and yet they have proved themselves time and time again to be focused, committed and efficient patriots.

He said women continue to bear the brunt of gender-based violence, poverty and other social ills.

“Our mothers, sisters, and daughters form the backbone of our society and must be given a voice too,” he stated.

Hamutenya made it clear that not all participants will make it on to the Parliamentary list and that should not be the objective.

Although all participants cannot make the list, there will be no losers, he said.

“We are all from the same party with the same goals, therefore whoever emerges on the list, it is a victory for the party. This is a win-win situation,” he stressed.

The meeting was expected to end Saturday night.

Source : The Namibian