Mudge calls for single candidate to faceNandi-Ndaitwah in 2024 election

Henk Mudge

Republican Party (RP) president Henk Mudge has called on all opposition parties to unite behind a single candidate in this year’s presidential election, to challenge Swapo candidate Netumbo Nandi-Ndaitwah.

Mudge made the call in an interview with The Namibian yesterday.

He said there is a need for a unified front to overcome Swapo’s dominance. Mudge said he himself declined to run, instead throwing his support behind Independent Patriots for Change (IPC) leader Panduleni Itula.

“The opposition parties should agree on one candidate to stand against the Swapo candidate. They should rally behind the candidate with the best chance to win the election,” he said.

Mudge added: “It’s not a secret, even me, I don’t have a chance to win. If we don’t present one candidate, we are going to divide the votes and create a good opportunity for the Swapo candidate to win the elections.”

He said in 2019 he supported Itula and will do the same this year. Mudge said he does not have ambition to be president but will be available to lead his party.

He suggested that opposition parties focus their efforts on the National Assembly election, believing they have a better chance of gaining seats in parliament.

He added that this year’s election is very important and the opposition must win it.

Rally for Democracy and Progress (RDP) president Mike Kavekotora agrees with the idea of a united opposition, but said he does not think it is realistic.

“We know the ruling party has failed to deliver on basic stuff like food, housing, security and education. It’s really about time that we have another administration in power, but it’s also a question of the ideology of an individual who is in power [which] will determine whether the change is to the benefit of Namibian people or not,” he said.

“It’s not just to jump and say let’s take Swapo away from power. You might succeed in taking Swapo from power, but you don’t achieve anything in terms of improving the situation,” Kavekotora said.

Kavekotora said Itula may have performed well in the 2019 election, because he was an independent candidate and was still part of Swapo and now that he has formed his party, he has the same support base.

Panduleni Itula

All People’s Party (APP) national chairperson Linus Muchila said his party would support an independent candidate who does not belong to any political party.

“To say we should rally behind Mr Itula, it won’t work and we don’t favour it,” Muchila said.

Contacted for comment yesterday, Itula asked to be provided with “relevant” statutory provisions that suggest that Nandi-Ndaitwah is a legitimate presidential candidate and contestant in the 2024 presidential elections.

Christian Democratic Voice (CDV) member of parliament Gotthard Kandume told The Namibian two weeks ago that he and his party members will vote for Nandi-Ndaitwah in this year’s upcoming presidential election.

He claimed that he decided to support her because she is “a mother, Christian, matured and my spiritual sister”.

Kandume said his party will not go into a coalition with an opposition party.

Two weeks ago, Popular Democratic Movement (PDM) president McHenry Venaani told The Namibian that he hopes to lead a coalition government after the 2024 elections.

“They are daydreaming. We will never go into a coalition with them. It will never materialise. It’s better to work with Swapo than working with the opposition parties. They are dead bodies and we will show them. If they come through the window, we will show them the exit door,” Kandume said.

Two weeks ago, political analyst Rui Tyitende said Swapo will maintain its dominance in both presidential and parliamentary elections as the opposition parties do not offer an alternative that excites the electorate.

According to him, even the opposition parties that offer tangible solutions are unlikely to make a serious dent on Swapo’s dominant position.

“The opposition is weak, because Swapo is a strong brand, although currently wounded and in the political intensive care unit,” he said.

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