All People’s Party (APP) national chairperson Linus Muchila says he does not believe any opposition party leader will win the presidential election this year.
According to him, Swapo will win the upcoming election, but is likely to get fewer votes in the National Assembly elections. Muchila said this in an interview with The Namibian on Tuesday.
“From the look of things, I don’t see any of the opposition leaders winning. Including [Panduleni] Itula. They won’t win. Swapo will still win the presidential election. It’s very clear, but as an opposition [party], we are very optimistic that when it comes to the National Assembly, we can do very well,” Muchila said.
He said Itula’s popularity in 2019, when he ran as an independent candidate, will not translate into success in 2024, as he now leads his own party with its own set of challenges.
“Itula should know that the popularity he had in 2019, he will not have in 2024. He must forget that. Because that time, there were those who said, let’s try an independent candidate.
“Now that he has his own political party and we have known what they are doing within the party, they have serious challenges. Look at how they run municipalities atSwakopmund and Walvis Bay. How are they different from Swapo?”
Muchila said Itula gained more votes in 2019, because he was voted for by Swapo supporters, as well as by some of those of the opposition parties.
He said this happened, because Itula was not fielded by a political party.
Muchila said the opposition parties will do well in the National Assembly elections but that Swapo will not get a two-thirds majority and there will be a possibility of a coalition government.
According to him, Namibia’s political landscape is undergoing a period of change.
He cites the Kabbe constituencies in the Zambezi region as an example, where he said campaigning for opposition parties was once futile, but is now being met with greater acceptance.
Itula told The Namibian yesterday it is for the nation to decide who it will delegate the governance power of the country to, not politicians’ speculation.
“To prophesise [sic] to possess the power to think for our people, as to who they shall vote [for], constitutes an insult to the intelligence of the voters,” Itula said.
President of the United Democratic Front (UDF) Gaobaeb Hendrik said Muchila should rather deregister the APP if he believes Swapo will win the election.
“Each time we go for an election, we go there hoping to win. UDF is going to win this election, it might not be the whole country but we will increase our seats in the National Assembly,” Hendrik told The Namibian yesterday.
Political analyst Henning Melber told The Namibian recently that it remains to be seen if electoral support to Swapo will decline to an extent that it cannot continue governing alone.
“There seems to be hardly any doubt at this stage that Swapo will remain the biggest party and its presidential candidate the next head of state. Since many parties remain fixated on an anti-Swapo political programme, this makes it rather difficult to find common ground,” he said.
Stay informed with The Namibian – your source for credible journalism. Get in-depth reporting and opinions for only N$85 a month. Invest in journalism, invest in democracy –