News and Information

Swapo bigwigs lose seats in the National Assembly
November 22, 2004

SENIOR Swapo leaders, including six Cabinet members, are among casualties of last week's elections.

With Swapo managing to retain its 55 seats, President Sam Nujoma's efforts to push former Foreign Affairs Minister Hidipo Hamutenya into the cold appear to have worked to surgical precision.

Hamutenya is place 57th on the Swapo list for the National Assembly, and will have to be "wheel-chaired", in Swapo terms, into the legislature in order to return to Government.

This could be done through the six non-voting appointees that President in waiting Hifikepunye Pohamba can add to the 72 members of the National Assembly.

Joining Hamutenya in observing Government politics from the outside are Deputy Prime Minister Hendrik Witbooi, Minister of Agriculture Helmut Angula, Minister of Trade and Industry Jesaya Nyamu, Deputy Minister of Finance Clara Bohitile and Deputy Minister of Prisons Jeremiah Nambinga.

But the biggest change in Namibia's parliament will be the absence of Speaker Mose Tjitendero who at position 60 on the Swapo list will not be returning to take charge of the "business of the House".

Swapo backbenchers Ponhele ya France and Lydia Katjita are also too low down to make it.

The senior Swapo leaders who have faired poorly in the party's selections were associated with Hamutenya's heated campaign to succeed Nujoma as Namibian President.

Nujoma has made it clear that he would not hesitate to block Hamutenya's advancement and appears to succeed so far.

But Pohamba has kept his counsel about whether he would break ranks with Nujoma - his prime patron in the presidential race - and extend an invitation to Hamutenya to return to Government.


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