Swapo Party electoral College kicks off

29 Aug 2014 20:20pm
WINDHOEK, 29 AUG (NAMPA) – The Swapo Party Electoral College, also known as ‘The Pot’, kicked off here Friday evening with much excitement and anticipation in the air.
With the passing of the Namibian Constitution’s third Amendment Bill in the National Assembly on Wednesday, the Electoral College is expected to elect 96 people for the Swapo Party list, instead of the previous 72 names.
The two-day Electoral College is being held under the theme, “Consolidation of Peace, Stability and Prosperity.”
The gathering offers Swapo Party members an opportunity to list the names of cadres who will represent the party in the National Assembly, subject to the number of seats which the party wins in the National Assembly election at the end of the year.
There are 214 delegates and candidates attending the college and representing the party’s wings, affiliates, parliamentarians and members of the central committee.
Opening the Electoral College officially, Swapo Party President Hifikepunye Pohamba called on the delegates to join hands and work in unity of purpose and action to ensure that they have a successful Electoral College.
“The successful conclusion of this process will be an important milestone in our preparation for the upcoming general elections later this year. The process must be guided and conducted within the letter and spirit of the Constitution of the Swapo Party, Code of Conduct and revised Swapo Party Rules and Procedures for elections of Party Office Bearers at legislative and government levels,” he stressed.
The Swapo leader, who is also Namibian Head of State, said the nature of the Electoral College is such that the process of electing candidates to the party list will be competitive.
He called on delegates to conduct a vibrant but healthy process when they canvass for votes and for support.
“The hallmark of this Electoral College must be our commitment, as a party, to democratic principles. Therefore not all of the delegates can be accommodated on that list,” he said.
After the completion of the process, Pohamba said, there will be no losers or winners at the Electoral College.
The ultimate winner will be Swapo Party and its broad membership - the wings, organs and structures of the party - that nominated the delegates who are participating in the Electoral College, he said.
He instructed the party members who will be elected to the list for the National Assembly elections to be ready to work hard and to mobilise the masses so that they can vote for Swapo Party in the upcoming elections.
“Being on the list is not the end in itself, but the beginning of a spirited campaign to convince voters to vote for Swapo Party. It is worth keeping in mind that the harder we campaign, the more seats the party will gain in Parliament,” he said.
This year’s contest is expected to be tight as the Electoral College is taking place following the historic amendment to the Party’s Constitution, making provision for the 50/50 gender representation in all structures of the party.
With that amendment, the party paved the way for greater recognition and empowerment of Namibian women.
The Electoral College is also expected to make for an interesting spectacle as the spotlight will be on older members trying to retain their seats, as well as newcomers vying for space on the highest platform of the political arena.
The Electoral College ends on Saturday.