Namibia’s parties present election lists that are on the short list (so to speak) of the world’s longest closed lists, nominating candidates for the single national district of 72 seats. The South-West Africa People’s Organization (SWAPO), which has governed the country since independence, has agreed on its list for the upcoming elections.
New Era reports:
The party held its fifth electoral college on Saturday, with 211 members on the voters’ roll – those eligible to vote – and elected from 117 candidates that have been entered as candidates from the ranks of section, branch, district and regional conferences.
Nominations also came from the party’s youth League, women’s and elders’ councils, and the affiliated National Union of Namibian Workers (NUNW).
The story says there was a “behind-the-scenes bloody nosed fight,” but the party (predictably) promises unity.
It is not as if the multiple nominating entities within the party produced a well balanced slate.
On the list, there are 23 women, with Iivula-Ithana and Petrina Haingura the only women among the first 10 candidates.
A notable female omission is long-serving minister and current Deputy Prime Minister Libertina Amathila, who earlier indicated that she would not avail herself for re-election.
None of the candidates nominated by the women’s or elders’ councils appear among the list of 72, and two of those nominated by the Youth League – Piet van der Walt and Paulus Kapia, have made it.
Most of the National Assembly candidates are Swapo Party Members of Parliament and members of the party’s central committee.
You have to be pretty far down the list not to be elected. SWAPO won just under 75% of the votes at the last election, in 2004. And not much is likely to change this time. The election is in November.