November 12, 2004

Pohamba expected to win presidential elections

Hifikepunye Pohamba is virtually guaranteed victory in the country’s presidential polls. The former independence movement chose Pohamba, the 69-year-old lands minister as its candidate to replace President Sam Nujoma, 75, after Swapo pulled off convincing wins in the elections in 1994 and 1999. The main challenging party is the opposition Congress of Democrats (CoD). Many expect the CoD, whose leader Ben Ulenga had spent nine years on Robin Island and who is a former Swapo man himself, with five years' political experience to pick up even more votes this time round, but not enough to challenge Swapo. Ulenga, now 52, fell out with Nujoma in 1998 and founded his CoD party in time to win seven parliamentary seats in polls the year to follow, equalling the share of the established but waning Democratic Turnhalle Alliance (DTA) opposition party.
In the context of the elections, President Nujoma has appealed to Swapo supporters to be united under the banner of Swapo and its Government in the struggle towards economic development. He said this would help to achieve the national goals and objectives outlined in Vision 2030 and the Second National Development Plan (NDP2). Furthermore, he also warned Swapo members to guard against political parties that promoted ethnic and tribal politics. "Remember that a people united, striving to achieve the common good of all the members in the society, will always emerge victorious," he added. Nujoma also cautioned supporters to be on the alert for divisive forces aiming to disrupt the economic development of the country. "Let us fight against these divisive forces as we successfully defeated the Boers during our liberation struggle [although] they were equipped with helicopters and jet fighters," he said. Nujoma also noted that the ruling party had distinguished itself as the only national broad-based party that mobilised and united all people irrespective of their colour, religion or gender. The president further claimed that the Swapo Party was the only truly national and representative party with clear development programmes and policies that had reached all corners of the country. In this respect, he highlighted achievements in education and training, economic development and the development of energy resources, roads and railway infrastructure. (Rts/The Namibian/Windhoek)

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