By Anna Shilongo
Following the registration last week of the newly-established opposition political party, the Rally for Democracy and Progress (RDP), New Era yesterday randomly spoke to ordinary Namibians to gauge public opinion on this development, and this is what they had to say.
Dr Ben Mulongeni: Veteran journalist and political analyst said: “Basically, if people are not happy, let them make their own political decisions. It’s not fair for one to be linked or attached to a political party where he/she is not happy. It is also a right move because now, the Swapo Party will know and see who are their real opponents.
“I know there are some people who think the new party is a threat to the Swapo Party, but in fact it is not. Swapo is an experienced political party with principles and policy and it came a long way. “Maybe the new party will be more harmful to opposition parties than to the Swapo Party. I am saying this because opposition parties can only be strong once they are united, but it’s difficult for them to unite since most of their parties are based on tribal origin. Swapo is the only party that has a strong representation of people from different ethnic groups, regions and tribes.”
“I feel our politics is a bit dominant and people want to challenge each other.
Okay, I don’t see anything wrong with the new party as long as they stick to their own party instead of criticising others.
This is also not the first time that a new party is breaking from another party. An example is the CoD.
“There were some prominent people during the establishment of the party but they later left the party.
“The people should also take into consideration that the gentlemen leading the party are frustrated. Another thing I want to know is, what is in the new party that the Swapo Party never had before? The public should think twice before they join the new party and they should join the party for the sake of the people not for power. I wish them luck but whoever is going to join the party should be certain.”
“It won’t be a strong party, because Swapo is a leading party. I don’t think it will make a difference because Swapo will always be a leading party as long as the Father of the Nation still stands by the party.
“He is the main man. But it’s also not wrong for one to start up their own political party. They have their right to express their democratic rights. I wish them well with their new party.”
“It’s interesting that a new party is registered and it’s important that it’s not operating under cover. It’s a registered party. And as long as the party is registered in line with the ECN requirements, then it qualifies to be a political party.
“That’s the way a democratic country should operate. People should be allowed to exercise their democratic rights. The idea of a new party is not bad but I strongly feel that as long as uncle Sam still stands for the Swapo Party, there’s no way this party will defeat the Swapo Party. Swapo will always be a leading party. I wish them all the best with their new party.”
“I strongly feel there will be conflicts between the two parties because these people originate from one political party, which is Swapo, it’s not going to work.”