WINDHOEK - The opposition Rally for Democracy and Progress (RDP) will steam ahead with its planned sit-in at the Supreme Court starting on Sunday until the court delivers a verdict in the disputed November 2009 national election results.
The planned demonstration will commence on Sunday until the verdict of the 2009 national election case is delivered, RDP Secretary-General Jesaya Nyamu said at the party’s headquarters in Olympia on Tuesday.
Eight opposition parties have challenged the 2009 national and presidential elections, citing “numerous intricate legal and constitutional issues”.
The eight opposition litigants are RDP, United Democratic Front of Namibia (UDF), Democratic Turnhalle Alliance (DTA), Congress of Democrats (CoD), Republican Party (RP), All People’s Party (APP), National Unity Democratic Organisation (NUDO) and the Democratic Party of Namibia (DPN).
The Namibia Movement for Democratic Change (NMDC) withdrew from the elections result challenge. The verdict remains pending, after the matter was heard in the Supreme Court last year.
In April, opposition parties marched to the Supreme Court, demanding that the verdict be issued within 30 calendar days, failure of which would leave them no choice but to resort to other democratic means to apply more pressure. It is not clear how many of the eight opposition parties will participate in the planned sit-in.
The vice president of the DTA and Member of Parliament Philemon Moongo referred all media queries to party president Katuutire Kaura who was not available for comment by the time of going to print. Attempts to reach representatives of the other parties also proved futile.
Jeremiah Nambinga, the party’s secretary for information and publicity, said yesterday that he could not say how many parties would take part in the sit-in, but confirmed that the RDP has forwarded invitations to the other parties, as well as other interested parties.
Nambinga also confirmed that the police have been informed about the planned peaceful protest action, but was quick to point out that the party did not request permission since demonstrating is a constitutional right of individuals and groups.
In April, the opposition walked out of the National Assembly during the State of the Nation address by President Hifikepunye Pohamba to register displeasure with the outstanding verdict in the election challenge appeal.
At the time Elsie Schickerling, the Chief Registrar informed New Era that when judgment was reserved after the conclusion of arguments in the election appeal, the Supreme Court indicated that its judges would only begin to consider their judgment in the matter after the end of the court’s October/November session.
The Chief Registrar said that even after extensive preparatory work was done in January and February in preparation of the judgment, the intervening March/April session of the Supreme Court unavoidably impeded or slowed down the handing down of a verdict.
“We are absolutely convinced that his Lordship the Chief Justice and his esteemed four colleagues in this case, have already completed deliberations and have reached a verdict,” Nyamu said last Tuesday at a media conference.
Nyamu said it is not only the RDP that wanted the verdict announced, but the diplomatic community as well. He said that the situation was similar to that in Zimbabwe. “We don’t need a second Zimbabwe, one Zimbabwe is bad enough,” said the secretary-general.