Swapo electoral college postponed

01 Jul 2019 19:00pm
WINDHOEK, 01 JUL (NAMPA) – Initially slated for 25-28 July 2019, Swapo’s electoral college – a gathering which sees the party select its parliamentary candidates – has now been postponed to early September 2019.
This is after several regional coordinators of the party requested more time to put their houses in order.
Swapo’s executive director Austin Samupwa, confirmed the postponement in an interview with Nampa on Monday.
“We are now busy with the renewal of mandates, which means the election of leaders in our sections, branches, and districts,” he said.
The party leadership had initially hoped that it would commence with the preparations for the college in May 2019.
“But it needed more time as many regions asked the office of the secretary-general for an extension... so the electoral college is now slated for early September,” Samupwa said.
The ruling party's electoral college is attended by around 280 delegates, including the 85 central committee members, Swapo members of parliament, 15 delegates from each wing of the party, and six from every region.
Samupwa said a strict vetting process is in place to ensure that only credible delegates make it to the college.
“The electoral college is an open contest for all qualifying Swapo members who wish to serve the Namibian public through Swapo (on the Swapo ticket) in Parliament. Those who want to participate will participate. It’s a fair and credible process… we don’t handpick people. All our decisions are done through a transparent process which is done through an election,” he said.
To qualify as a delegate to the electoral college, an individual must have been a Swapo member for at least 10 years, with their payment up to date and an impeccable record of good conduct.
“Your service to the party must be satisfactory… then you (can) qualify to stand and compete with other people,” he said.
Samupwa added: “There is a strict vetting process that ensures that everybody who is a candidate, qualifies. All we do is screen members and then those who are screened are subjected to elections.”