By Mbatjiua Ngavirue
Monitor Action Group (MAG) has called on all opposition parties in Namibia to consider uniting around a common, but preferably independent candidate in the 2009 Presidential elections.
The individual opposition parties could participate in the 2009 elections, while still maintaining their own political principles, structures and candidate list but only agreeing to unite around a common presidential candidate.
MAG said it made the proposal for a single opposition presidential candidate in the interest of maintaining multi-party democracy in Namibia.
This was one of the key resolutions passed at Monitor Action Group’s recent annual general meeting, where it also expressed concern about, and passed resolutions on a number of other issues.
MAG is the reformed tail end of the erstwhile pre-independence white National party, which now represents the more conservative section of Namibia’s white population.
At the conclusion of the party’s AGM, party chairperson, Kosie Pretorius, issued a statement spelling out the party’s position on several constitutional issues
He said the party noted that in the 17 years since independence, the Government has never acknowledged receipt of resolutions of MAG sent to it in the form of press releases.
This particularly applied to resolutions of the party sent to the Government about the incorrect and unconstitutional implementation of affirmative action.
The party further raised concern about what it considers the mistaken formula used by the Government to allocate funding to political parties.
MAG complained about the loophole entrenched through legislation, whereby the President and parliament are immune to investigation or censure by the Ombudsman.
The party consequently resolved to urgently, again, call on the Government to take the following actions:
– Obtain an objective legal opinion on the constitutional requirements for correct implementation and phrasing of the legal provisions for affirmative action;
– Make public the verbatim minutes of the Sub-committee (1989-1990) responsible for the wording of the Namibian Constitution for clarifying issues surrounding affirmative action;
– Appoint an objective committee to urgently review the formula for the allocation of party political funding by the State; and
– Immediately compel all political parties to annually hand in audited financial statements showing how funds allocated by the State for the promotion of democracy are utilised. The party adds that as far as it knows, since party political funding started, only MAG has ever submitted audited financial statements.
The party further resolved to note with gratitude the Ombudsman’s undertaking to seek a legal opinion on Article 3 of the Ombudsman’s Act No. 7 of 1990.
The article is apparently relevant to whether or not the Ombudsman is empowered to negotiate or mediate in matters affecting the affairs of parliament.