Kavekotora wins RDP leadership race

02 Jun 2019 16:50pm
WINDHOEK, 02 JUN (NAMPA) – Mike Kavekotora is the new President of the Rally for Democracy and Progress (RDP), defeating Kandy Nehova and Mariam Hamutenya after a series of tense sessions at the party’s elective convention on Sunday.

Announcing the results in the capital on Sunday, the party said a total of 625 delegates converged at the Ramatex complex in the capital to decide RDP’s fate for the next five years, with 490 delegates casting their ballots in a marathon voting session that began late on Saturday and continued until mid-morning on Sunday.

RDP’s electoral commission recorded 14 spoilt ballots in the intra-presidential election.

In the results, Kavekotora received the majority of the votes with 243 (51.1 per cent), followed by former National Council Chairman, Kandy Nehova, with 133 and Hamutenya with 100 votes.

In an interview with Nampa shortly after the results were announced, Kavekotora could not contain his joy, despite acknowledging that the bigger task now lies ahead.

“I can assure you that it is going to be a very different year in Namibia’s political landscape. My eyes now after going through the first hurdle are set on the presidency. I am going to State House [as Head of State],” an upbeat Kavekotora proclaimed.

Asked how this ambitious dream would be realised, he replied: “We are going to put up a strategy. We will go to every corner of this country to demonstrate that the current ruling party has failed in the delivery of services and aspirations of the Namibian people.”

When contacted for comment, Nehova, a veteran politician, expressed full confidence in the internal electoral process.

“I think it was democratic. We all won in the end. Now we are going seriously to campaign for the National Assembly and presidential elections. I will fully support the winning candidate (Kavekotora). He is now our president and I hope he will lead us to achieve victory,” Nehova said.

Hamutenya could not be reached for comment.

Another election that was successfully held is that of the party’s vice president (VP), which saw Kavekotora’s running mate, Kennedy Shekupakela, emerge victorious.

Uniquely however, Shekupakela did not win with an outright majority and the prospect of a re-run was being explored until Heiko Lucks, one of the contenders for the position of VP, withdrew his candidature.

In the initial poll, Shekupakela received 231 votes, followed by Lucks with 137 and Tjinezuma Kavari with 76, while Eino Heelu had 32 votes.

This meant that none of the candidates attained the required 51+ per cent vote to be installed into a position of leadership as per the RDP constitution.

It was at this point that Lucks stepped aside, giving his votes to Shekupakela, taking the latter’s vote tally to 368.

The voting process for the positions of secretary general, deputy secretary general and central committee members is still underway, with results expected on Monday.