RP Gives Backing to Geingob

The Republican Party yesterday called off merger plans between itself and the Rally for Democracy and Progress (RDP) and also made known that it will not contest this year’s presidential election, but it will support Swapo’s presidential candidate, Dr Hage Geingob.

The announcements were made during a media briefing in Windhoek yesterday by RP president Henk Mudge.

“For a number of reasons the cooperation between the RP and RDP dream did unfortunately not materialize, but I would like to state the fact that I have always respected my friend Hidipo Hamutenya as a person and that is still the case today,” said Mudge.

Mudge blames the failed merger on, what he calls, “some elements” in the RDP who were more interested in furthering their own ambitions and different agenda and whose actions and non-actions made it almost impossible for nationals as well as regional leaders and members of the RP to play a meaningful role towards the merger taking place.

Several RP members gave up their RP membership to join the RDP when the merger talks began in 2010 as per an agreement between the two. Commenting on this, Mudge said: “It is a problem because they will serve for another year as councillors, but we will see what happens because quite a number of our members have been elected to serve as councillors.

“But it is up to them to decide whether they want to resign although it will be sad because they earn a salary, but that is for them to decide.”

He further announced that the RP would, with immediate effect, start to reorganize and mobilize its structure countrywide. “The Republican Party will re-establish itself as an independent party and will convene a party congress within the coming six weeks,” he said.

At the congress, Mudge said: “I will submit a motion in which I will propose that the Republican Party of Namibia will not contest the presidential election and we as RP would rather want to show our support for Geingob and work with him as the President of Namibia for the benefit of the nation as a whole.”

Mudge accused opposition parties in the country of being too fragmented to play any meaningful role in the political arena.

“We will pursue negotiations with all non-ruling parties to find a sustainable solution to strengthen the opposition,” he stated.

RDP vice-president Steve Bezuidenhoudt said the failed merger would have no effect on his party, adding: “This is just a reflection of the integrity of the people involved in the entire process.”

Bezuidenhoudt accused the RP of being dormant over the past three years and now, all of a sudden, wanting to come to life a few months before the elections.

“RP was dormant for almost three years, now they want to revive just a few months before the elections, I really wish them all the luck because they will need it,” he said.

As for the RP members who gave up their RP membership to join RDP, he said: ” They left RP and joined RDP, if they say they are RP councillors, they will be replaced in terms of the laws of the country.”

Source : New Era