Ulenga Wants Alliance – Asks Other Oppositions to Join Forces

AS national elections draw closer, the Congress of Democrats has called on opposition parties to join forces in the hope of improving their fortunes at the polls.

Speaking at a press briefing in Windhoek last week, CoD president Ben Ulenga said his party was inviting other political formations, whose ideology is close to CoD, to form an alliance.

“I believe there is need for close cooperation, especially around elections. There is no need for preaching the same gospel from different churches especially in Namibia, where one party dominates the political scene,” he said.

Ulenga said the close ties he is aocating will not only be for election purposes but also for the future and that the parties joining hands will have the same political programme. He did not mention which political parties he was targeting for the alliance.

He also said “the much anticipated party (CoD) congress” which has been delayed by lack of finances will be held next month. “We are five months late because we’re struggling with funds.”

Ulenga said the formula for allocating government funds to political parties is one of the many disaantages opposition parties face in their bid to compete on a level playing field.

Funds are allocated on the basis of the number of representatives each party has in parliament. Swapo gets the bulk of the money based on its huge majority in parliament.

“Some parties get more funds from the government than others. This year my party got N$400 000 while Swapo got N$2,2 million. There cannot be any explanation for such a situation,” he said. “I also want to approach the Electoral Commission of Namibia because they promised to hold a fair election.”

Ulenga could not say whether he will stand in the 20142015 national elections as the party’s presidential candidate.

“So far I cannot say if I will avail myself because I can’t nominate myself,” he said, adding that nominations will be done at the party’s congress.

“CoD has no (term) limitations but I have been here for a long time. If the party elects anyone to stand as president, I will be happy. Equally if the party decides that I stand again, I will also be happy,” Ulenga said.

The party congress, which will be held in Ongwediva on 5 and 6 July, is expected to discuss the land issue, nation-building, education, industrialisation and economic development.

“We will review party progress over the last five years and discuss upcoming elections and then elect the new party leadership,” he added.

Ulenga expressed concern that land still very much belongs to the few who grabbed it with the colonisation of the country.

“We believe the situation is unfair. If CoD was to come to power either alone or with other parties, land re-distribution would be the first issue we will address,”

He also said despite the constitution saying primary education should be free and compulsory, there is no free and compulsory education in Namibia.

“Just drive out in to the townships and see how children are still sitting with their mothers or roaming the streets alone. Children are scattered all over the place. Government has failed Namibian young people as far as I am concerned,” Ulenga concluded.

Source : The Namibian