12 December 2012

Namibia: Surprises in Swapo Politburo Election

THE winds of change are blowing through Swapo, resulting in promising and rising young stars having lost their position in the party’s Politburo.

Education Minister Abraham Iyambo, Finance Minister Saara Kuugongelwa-Amadhila and Justice Minister Utoni Nujoma’s rise in the ruling party was cut short when they failed to make it into the powerful organ of the party.

The three were outvoted yesterday afternoon at the party’s Central Committee meeting in Windhoek.

A total of 54 Central Committee members contested for the 17 available spots on the Politburo.

Iyambo got 29 votes, Kuugongelwa-Amadhila 30 and Nujoma 20 votes.

Health Minister Richard Kamwi was also one of the casualties when he failed to retain his seat in the Politburo, securing only 23 votes.

The popularity of Jerry Ekandjo and Pendukeni Iivula-Ithana, who contested for the vice president position, is also waning as they failed to make it in the top five like they did in previous years.

Veteran politician Helmut Angula also got the boot from the Politburo after he only managed to garner 28 votes.

Nahas Angula, who lost his position as prime minister last week and was moved to Defence, recorded the highest votes, repeating the same results as at the 5th Swapo congress for a seat on the Central Committee.

Angula, who got 50 votes, was followed by Netumbo Nandi-Ndaitwah with 48 votes, Ben Amadhila with 44, Deputy Prime Minister Marco with 44 and Libertina Amathila with 43 votes.

Charles Namoloh, who was ‘wheelchaired’ into the Central Committee by President Hifikepunye Pohamba in 2007, this time around made it on his own onto the Central Committee and was yesterday elected to the Politburo in sixth place, beating the likes of Jerry Ekandjo.

Other new faces to the Politburo are Hardap Governor Katrina Hanse-Himarwa, Nandi-Ndaitwah, Namoloh, John Mutorwa and Nickey Iyambo.

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