Namibia
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Nandi-Ndaitwah remains Swapo’s presidential candidate – Shaningwa

Swapo vice president Netumbo Nandi-Ndaitwah remains the party’s candidate for next year’s presidential election, Swapo secretary general Sophia Shaningwa said.

“The status quo has not changed,” she said.

This remark comes after Swapo parliamentarian Jerry Ekandjo wrote to party president Hage Geingob to request an extraordinary congress this year to nominate the party’s presidential candidate.

Shaningwa said she does not know whether anyone can organise an extraordinary congress without going through the party’s politburo and central committee first, and subsequently, the office of the secretary general.

Ekandjo did not answer phone calls yesterday.
He, however, sent a text message, saying: “SMS your message.” But did not answer after The Namibian sent him an SMS.
Swapo has since 2004 allowed its vice presidents to become automatic presidential candidates.

This applied both to former party president Hifikepunye Pohamba in 2004, and incumbent party president Geingob in the 2014 general election.

Political science expert and author Rekkel Andreas-Kayoko said the call for an extraordinary congress shows symptoms of intra-party tensions.
“For the congress to even be called, the decision needs to be agreed upon by many more than Jerry Ekandjo.

“He can make the call . . . but it’s up to the Swapo leadership to really decide if his call warrants an extraordinary congress or whether this is just a distraction from what they should be focusing on,” she says.
Andreas-Kayoko says it unlikely that Ekandjo will have his way.