The Rally for Democracy and Progress (RDP) has barred one of its candidates from standing for the regional council elections because he took the party to the Labour Court for money owed to him.
Laidlaw Peringanda earlier this month emerged victorious during the party’s internal elections where he was elected to stand as the party’s candidate for Swakopmund constituency.
New Era understands that Peringanda took the RDP to the Labour Court after the party failed to pay him for work done for the party during last year’s national elections.
RDP secretary general Mike Kavekotora yesterday confirmed Peringanda was removed from the party’s list of candidates.
“I am still waiting for r a written report on what exactly transpired, but I can say that he has been removed from the list,” confirmed Kavekotora. Kavekotora was not impressed with the party’s regional leadership in Erongo in allowing Peringanda to contest the internal elections, knowing very well that the Labour Court issue would come up.
“They must explain why they allowed him to be elected and now reject him. That should have happened before by not allowing him to contest,” said Kavekotora.
In a letter written to the Electoral Commission of Namibia, Peringanda said the party refused to register him as one of their candidates unless he withdrew the case.
The decision comes weeks before the party takes part in the regional council and local authority elections.
“The party’s constitution does not state that if a person lodged a complaint against the party at the Labour Court that candidate cannot take part in the elections. I am being blackmailed to withdraw the case in order to stand for the elections,” claimed Peringanda in the letter written to the ECN dated October 14 2015. Peringanda said despite his interest to stand as the party’s candidate for the constituency, he had no plans to withdraw the labour case.
“I believe that I am also being discriminated against because of my religion of Rastafarianism, race, colour, social and economic status. Some members in my party are preaching about inclusiveness but it is just lip service,” he charged.
In his response, ECN’s director for elections Professor Paul Isaak said the ECN cannot get involved in the internal affairs of any party.
“ECN does not have any say in how registered political parties conduct their business with regard to nominations of candidates, or the withdrawal or revocation of a candidate,” said Isaak.
“Each registered political party has its own constitution which should guide them in this regard, and issues, grievances between you and the RDP cannot be resolved by the ECN.”
The due date for nominations was last Friday.