Swapo Sets Electoral College Date

THE ruling Swapo Party has decided to hold its electoral college in July, deviating from the norm in previous years when it usually held the meeting during the last part of the year, just before the national elections.

The electoral college is the meeting where Swapo draws up the list of candidates expected to represent the party in the National Assembly after the elections.

Swapo secretary general Nangolo Mbumba yesterday confirmed that the party has set 25 to 27 July as the possible dates to hold the internal party contest.

Mbumba added that the date is not yet final and could be changed depending on President Hifikepunye Pohamba’s availability.

“We told our wings to be ready for 25 to 27 July, depending on the President’s schedule,” Mbumba said.

He added that the party will not create new lists from the structures but that those who represented the regions and the structures at the last congress will be going to the electoral college.

Speculation on why the party decided to hold the event early has been rife among party leaders because Swapo has customarily held the meeting in September or October, about a month before the November national elections.

Well-placed party sources told The Namibian that it was on Pohamba’s insistence to hold the event also known as the “pot” earlier.

The sources added that Pohamba has recently been at odds with his leadership team and would like to get the college out of the way soon to prevent electioneering. He allegedly did not want to give room to those leaders who want to start lobbying for support from the delegates attending the college.

Tensions are expected to be high as leaders battle for survival to go to National Assembly. Pohamba’s insistence on the 5050 zebra style gender representation is seen as going to cost many men their leadership positions. The 5050 representation has given women, who felt sidelined, hope of getting more seats in the National Assembly next year.

There is also the Tanganyika (Tanga) group, which is fighting to remain relevant as a new breed of youthful leaders is looking at entering the highest political arena in the country.

There are also leaders who campaigned for party Vice President Hage Geingob’s re-election, canvassing for a spot on the party list in the hope that they could get appointed into his executive.

Source : The Namibian