Internal Affairs

Political analysts say there is nothing wrong with Geingob’s virtual opening of parliament

Summary

Political analyst Ndumba Kamwanya said he does not see anything wrong with the manner in which the president opened Parliament, as it speaks to the new normal the world is leaning towards on account of COVID-19.In an interview with Nampa on Wednesday, …

Political analyst Ndumba Kamwanya said he does not see anything wrong with the manner in which the president opened Parliament, as it speaks to the new normal the world is leaning towards on account of COVID-19.

In an interview with Nampa on Wednesday, Kamwanya said the big issue in this regard is that there were no prior consultations with the other political parties.

Political commentator Graham Hopwood shared similar sentiments, saying as a matter of courtesy, the members of parliament should have been told beforehand that President Hage Geingob’s statement would be delivered virtually.

Geingob officially opened parliament for the year 2021 on Tuesday via a pre-recorded statement, a move which did not sit well with several opposition party members including Popular Democratic Movement (PDM) leader, McHenry Venaani.

Venaani expressed disappointment in Geingob, saying it was unacceptable and a national embarrassment.

He further said the Speaker of the National Assembly, Peter Katjavivi, did not consult him as the leader of the official opposition in the assembly nor his compatriots in the opposition benches.

“If there was a matter of reducing members of the legislative in order to allow the president to come here, that could have been done, but you are leading us as the speaker of this house into a serious threat where the president during the day of the State of Nation Address, he will be sitting in the comfort of his office addressing us from there and answering questions from there,” he said.

Meanwhile, after causing a commotion and walking out of the chambers during Geingob’s statement, Landless People’s Movement (LPM) leader Bernadus Swartbooi said Geingob’s decision to open Parliament virtually did not come as a surprise to him.

“What we have experienced here today is a retreating Geingob, retreating not because he wants to, but because he has so much to answer for,” he said.

He added that the president’s failure to physically open Parliament undermined elected offices, as well as the judiciary.

Among the few opposition parties that remained for the opening session were the National Unity Democratic Organisation, Rally for Democracy and Progress and Swanu.

Source: Nampa