REPUBLICAN Party (RP) chief Henk Mudge is confident Swapo’s reign will come to an end if opposition parties form a coalition and contest as one during the 2024 general elections.
Mudge said opposition parties must, for the greater public good, overcome their differences to form an effective national government to defeat Swapo at the polls.
“There is no doubt that Swapo will not win the next election if all political parties come together. I hope that the other political parties will also agree that we would only put one presidential candidate to challenge that of Swapo. I’m quite sure that way we will win,” Mudge said during a Desert Radio interview on Monday.
The RP president, who firmly believes that a coalition governance structure is possible, said there is a national consensus about the ruling party’s underperformance, and that any government will be better than the Swapo government.
“If you look at what is happening in the country right now, I think any government is better than the existing one. We find ourselves in a situation where Namibia is basically bankrupt and we are not getting an idea that the government is really performing for the benefit of the public,” he said.
According to Mudge, the argument that all political parties have different ideologies is used to delay coalition talks between opposition parties. He said opposition leaders should set aside their differences and come together for the benefit of the citizens of the country.
“The leadership of the different political parties have to come together and we will have to be very straightforward with each other. If you don’t want to join a coalition, then say why not. I know that is what the people on the ground want to hear,” Mudge said.
He also warned that the public will harshly judge opposition parties who do not want to join a coalition, as it is meant to benefit the people and not the interests of individual parties.
He said the current troubles facing coalition governance at local authority level are shocking and disappointing.
Councillors are guilty of what they accused Swapo of when it had majority seats in local authority councils, and the infighting at local authority level seemingly comes from the influence of political leadership, he said.
“But maybe this is a trial run for the opposition to see the bigger picture and sort out problems. To see what to do and how to do it together.”
Mudge has been vocal about an opposition coalition since 2016, and has spoken out against opposition parties who are not prepared to work together because the leaders are more worried about their own positions, than the interest of Namibia.
Popular Democratic Movement member of parliament Charmaine Tjirare last week at a public debate on coalitions said power politics deter coalition talks.
“People in leadership don’t want to bow down to each other. We don’t want to stand as a collective and say this is for the masses. The quality of leadership we have and their individual agendas will deter us from effective coalitions,” Tjirare said.
Meanwhile, Swapo elects its top three – vice president, secretary general, deputy secretary general – this weekend.