President Hage Geingob has appointed 39-year-old Paula Kooper to the National Assembly to replace Bernard Swartbooi on the Swapo Party list. Geingob made the announcement at the opening of the 6th Swapo Party Youth League (SPYL) congress in Katima Mulilo yesterday.
Kooper will now go to parliament to take up the seat vacated by Swartbooi who was recently recalled from parliament, and immediately resigned from the party thereafter.
She was 82nd on the Swapo parliamentary list for the 2014 election, below Jerry Ekandjo who was one of President Hage Geingob’s nominees for the National Assembly.
Presidential nominees have voting powers in parliament and New Era understands that Ekandjo, having duly qualified for parliament after Swartbooi’s recent recall, has requested to change his status from presidential nominee to elected MP with voting rights.
This means a vacancy existed on the presidential nominee list and Geingob’s nomination of Kooper was to fill the void on his nominee list.
Other presidential nominees in the National Assembly are Pendukeni Iivula-Ithana, Dr Albert Kawana, Katrina Hanse-Himarwa, Bishop Zephania Kameeta, Dr Bernard Haufiku, Obed Kandjoze and Heather Mwiza Sibungo.
Swapo won 77 seats in the National Assembly election in 2014. With presidential nominees, the ruling party has an overwhelming majority of 85 MPs in the National Assembly which altogether has 104 seats.
Kooper, who previously served as a senior private secretary to Swapo’s chief whip in the party’s parliamentary caucus, is currently a SPYL central committee member. She is from Hardap Region.