Koehler lauds Namibia’s smooth power transition

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WELGEMOED – Former president of the Federal Republic of Germany, Dr Horst Koehler, has praised Namibia for promoting democracy and maintaining peace over the past 25 years and for the smooth handing over of power from Hifikepunye Pohamba to the new President Hage Geingob at a monumental event witnessed by thousands on Saturday.

Pohamba, whose term began in 2005, last Saturday smoothly handed over power to Geingob at Windhoek’s 25 000-seat Independence Stadium after completing two five-year terms in office. Geingob was elected to succeed Pohamba in last year’s general elections that also saw Swapo Party trounce its rivals in the 2014 parliamentary election.

Speaking at farm Welgemoed in the Khomas Region on Sunday during a field visit at two resettlement farms, Koehler said Namibia demonstrated a good example by having a peaceful transition of power and should be emulated by others.

Koehler, who was accompanied by Director General for Sub-Saharan Africa and Sahel in the Federal Foreign Office Ambassador Georg Schmidt and Germany Ambassador to Namibia Onno Hȕckmann during the trip, said this after attending the inauguration ceremony of Namibia’s new President, Dr Hage Geingob in the capital on Saturday.

He noted that the smooth transition process was a good recipe for peace not only in Namibia as a country but in the whole southern African region and even the entire world.

Koehler, who was Germany’s president between 2004-2010 arrived last week Friday to represent his country during the country’s independence celebration as well as the inauguration of the new president. He left on Sunday.

Under overcast skies in the capital on Saturday, thousands filled the Independence Stadium for the 25th Silver Jubilee Independence Day celebration and the inauguration of the new President. The event braced by politicians from across the world most notably the former president of Finland and Noble Peace Laureate Martti Ahtisaari, Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe, South Sudan President Salva Kiir Mayardit, former Zambian president Dr Kenneth Kaunda as well as current President Edgar Lungu, South African Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa, former president of Botswana Festus Mogae and his predecessor Sir Ketumile Masire as well as the current President Lieutenant-General Khama Ian Khama, among others.

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