RP Divorces RDP, Courts Swapo’s Geingob

PRESIDENT of the Republican Party (RP) Henk Mudge has said he would propose that his party supports Swapo’s candidate Hage Geingob in the presidential elections.

Mudge made the remarks at a media briefing in Windhoek yesterday where he also made public that his party has ended its three-year political relationship with the official opposition party, the Rally for Democracy and Progress (RDP).

RP’s president said they are in the process of organising a congress, which will be held within the next six weeks.

“I can announce that I will submit a motion at the said congress in which I will propose that the Republican Party of Namibia will not contest in the Presidential election but that we should support the candidacy of Hage Geingob,” he said.

Mudge, however, insisted that as long as opposition parties remain fragmented, it will remain a futile exercise for them to contest in the Presidential elections.

“We, as the RP, would rather want to show our support for Geingob and work together with him as President of Namibia for the benefit of the whole nation,” he said.

The support for Geingob by a rival political party comes about five months after another opposition party leader endorsed the politician who is tipped to take over as Head of State next year. Member of Parliament and former party leader UDF chief Justus Garoeumlb urged all Damara-speaking Namibians, including those in the UDF, to rally behind Geingob because he “is a Damara”.

On the failed partnership with the official opposition party, Mudge said: “I would like to announce that the Republican Party of Namibia will, with immediate effect start to reorganise and mobilise our structures throughout Namibia”.

Mudge said the plan failed because there are people in the RDP who are more interested to further own ambitions and have a different agenda.

He said their action “made it almost impossible for the national as well as regional leaders as well as the RP of Namibia to achieve the the ultimate goal [Hidipo] Hamutenya and myself had in mind”.

Mudge added that the party he leads is still prepared to be partners with other political parties but it should be done for the sake of the country and not for the interest of politicians.

Even though he announced their intention to back the ruling party’s candidate, the RP president criticised the ruling party of the high unemployment rate, failure in developmental projects, corruption, appalling state of affairs of local authorities and that the voters’ registration process was a “total farce”.

RP also criticised national reconciliation which he branded as “empty words” and lashed out at black economic empowerment and affirmative action.

RP and RDP agreed to work together in September 2010 with an intention to merge.

RDP’s deputy spokesperson Nghiningiluandubo Kashume declined to comment on the split, referring the paper to the party vice president, Steve Bezuidenhout, who was not reachable for comment yesterday.

Source : The Namibian