RDP to elect HH’s successor tomorrow

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Windhoek

Over 500 Rally for Democracy and Progress (RDP) members will convene in Windhoek tomorrow to elect a new leader to replace Hidipo Hamutenya.

Secretary general of the RDP, Mike Kavekotora says tomorrow’s extraordinary convention will be preceded by a central committee meeting slated for today. He also said prospective candidates have until tomorrow to join the race.

There are currently six hopeful candidates in the race to succeed party founder Hidipo Hamutenya who retired earlier this year. The known candidates so far are Peter Naholo, Libolly Haufiku, Heiko Lucks, Jeremiah Nambinga, Kandy Nehova and Christiaan Nguherimo. Naholo, who was last of the six to declare his willingness to run for presidency, told New Era that he is capable of unifying the party and help it perform during the year-end Regional Council and Local Authority elections.

“People already know me and they know what I am capable of, so for some of us there is no need to lobby for support, if I am nominated I will be more than willing contest,” said the former trade unionist during a telephone interview with New Era last week.

Asked whether he will also be pushing for a seat in the National Assembly if elected as president on Saturday, Naholo answered: “That issue has to be decided collectively by the leadership. If we decide collectively to it I will say Amen.”Long-serving party members Libolly Haufiku and former RDP MP Heiko Lucks during separate interviews with New Era in the past expressed strongly that the party president must be in parliament.

Both would push for a seat in the national legislature if they win the internal elections, meaning one of the three RDP representatives in the National Assembly must make way.

The party is represented in parliament by its vice president Steve Bezuidenhoudt, secretary general Mike Kavekotora and his deputy Agnes Limbo. The party’s central committee earlier this year decided that the incoming president should not take up a seat in parliament, but two of the candidates are planning to sidestep that decision.

Party insiders claim those pushing to be in parliament if elected are doing so merely to get the income accorded to MPs.

An ordinary MP earns about N$540 000 per year, which includes perks such as transport, water and electricity, medical aid and housing allowances.

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