UPM and PDM form coalition ahead of November elections

28 Aug 2019 18:20pm
WINDHOEK, 28 AUG (NAMPA) – The United People’s Movement (UPM) and Popular Democratic Movement (PDM) on Wednesday penned a memorandum of understanding (MoU) to support the latter and its candidate, McHenry Venaani at the upcoming National Assembly and Presidential elections.
The MoU was signed by the two political formations’ secretary generals and in the presence of the leaders in various structures and supporters at the Parliament building.
As part of the agreement, UPM and PDM will continue to exist as separate entities but under one umbrella to be called UPM-PDM Coalition.
Speaking at the occasion, UPM president Piet Junius - whose political career spans across five decades, said the time for Namibian opposition parties to form one force against the political might of Swapo has arrived.
He referenced the “outright theft that has become a norm at Government institutions, deteriorating health and education sectors, high unemployment and poverty levels” as some of the issues Namibians are confronted with, which they believe the current ruling party has failed dismally to address.
Junius said it is pointless to have multiple political formations that are all fighting for the same issues and have a common enemy.
“That is why we fought against apartheid from South Africa and that is why we are against a two-third majority that is in the hands of power-hungry Namibians. That is one of the pillars to come together to form a coalition and we pray that the voters out there will see it in that light,” he said.
Namibia is a country at crossroads, the politician said.
“Why don’t we fight together against what is happening in this country?”
Speaking at the same occasion, PDM president McHenry Venaani, the coalition’s presidential candidate, said it was not easy to reach a consensus with UPM.
He also noted that their coalition is not about personalities but is founded on policy matters.
The UPM-PDM Coalition will have one list for candidates to the National Assembly, also under the banner of PDM.
Prior to the signing of the pact on Wednesday, the two parties were engaged in rigorous negotiations for over six months.
“We chose to be bigger than what we are. We made it in the broader interest of our people. It is not a Piet Junius deal or a Venaani deal. It is a deal on behalf of the people that we represent and lead,” Venaani said, further downplaying the dominance of PDM in the coalition.