Nandi-Ndaitwah defends her Swapo presidential candidacy

Swapo Party vice president Netumbo Nandi-Ndaitwah has defended her candidacy as the ruling party’s presidential nominee in the presidential elections later next year. Nandi-Ndaitwah told party members at a rally in Windhoek on Saturday that she was duly elected by the party congress last year along with the Swapo president, secretary general, deputy secretary general, and members of the central committee. However, she singled out some party members in the Khomas Region for refusing to accept her nomination as the presidential candidate of the party, stressing that the party membership across the country has ‘fully embraced and appreciated’ the outcome of the seventh Swapo ordinary congress. ‘Sadly, as we have learned, Khomas does not want, in totality. I am not saying all; there are still some leaders who are living in denial. There is a total denial among comrades, and I am saying this not because I came out as a winner, but because I know how the Swapo Party operates and I respect all the party rules, regulations, and, more importantly, the party constitution,’ Nandi-Ndaitwah said to the approval of over 1 000 supporters who attended the rally at the Sam Nujoma Stadium. ‘Those who think differently are anti-constitution. They are undermining our party, and we should not give them an opportunity to do that at all. We are law-abiding members of our party, and we want everything to be done per our constitution and our rules.’ Nandi-Ndaitwah, who is also the deputy prime minister and minister of international relations and cooperation, was elected Swapo vice president during the party’s ordinary congress in November 2022. As per the party’s constitution, this put her in line as the ruling party’s presidential candidate for the 2024 presidential elections. She contested the position against two other senior party cadres, Prime Minister Saara Kuugongelwa-Amadhila and Pohamba Shifeta, the minister of environment and tourism. However, it appears that not all members of the ruling party have embraced Nandi-Ndaitwah’s candidacy, as there have been calls from within the party for an extraordinary congress to nominate the party’s presidential candidate. This was shot down by Swapo Secretary General Sophia Shaningwa, who in her remarks said the extraordinary congress can only be held if either the president, vice president, secretary general, or deputy secretary resigns. ‘President Hage Geingob is not prepared to damage his image as a leader of the Swapo Party and leader of this country. And he said this in writing to my office as an administrator of the party, saying that he would be there. Not extraordinary; let it go,’ she said.

Source: The Namibian Press Agency