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UDF to release manifesto after 10 years

Written by on April 22, 2024

The United Democratic Front (UDF) is set to release its first election manifesto after 10 years of falling back on its 2014 document.

The party failed to have a congress in 2019, and has told voters to judge it on its 2014 manifesto, which resulted in the party receiving 1,79% of parliamentary votes in the last elections.

The party’s recently elected deputy secretary general, Davey van Wyk, last week told Desert Radio not having a manifesto five years ago cost it dearly.

“That aspect plays a very important role. We did not have a congress, and the elected leadership from 2013 had to continue, and this did not sit well with the voters. It affected us,” he said.

Van Wyk, who is also Karibib’s mayor, said the party had to review the matter.

“We realised we made a mistake, so we went back to the constitution, and it was revived. We said we should have an elective congress every five years, then we should get the mandate for five years and work for the sympathisers of the party,” he said.

“I won’t be able to go into details on the manifesto, but in the next two weeks we will release one,” Van Wyk said.

Sesfontein constituency councillor and Kunene Regional Council chairperson Hendrik Gaobaeb earlier this year secured victory to become the party’s new president at its elective congress at Swakopmund.

Gaobaeb clinched the presidency with 127 votes, surpassing former president Apius !Auchab, who received 77 votes, and former vice president Dudu Murorua, who garnered 54 votes.

Van Wyk secured the deputy secretary general position and deputises former Arandis local authority councillor Daniel Tsaneb.

The Karibib mayor said he is confident the new leadership of the party would take it to greater heights.

“We are optimistic about the new leadership. The outgoing leadership was at the helm for about 10 years. With the modernising of politics, the UDF, driven by the youth league, decided we should have more younger people with bright minds, with new ideas to revive the party so we appeal to the nation,” he said.

“We are currently busy with the final stages of planning to reveal our new manifesto and introduce the leadership, so we take the country to new heights,” he said.


Over the years, analysts have accused poltical parties, including the UDF, of not being bigger than their tribal origins and affiliations.
Van Wyk yesterday denied that the UDF is a tribal party, saying it has evolved in that regard.

“The UDF is a national party which is open to everyone. I will not deny that our party’s backbone was based on tribal lines because of our history, but we have evolved,” he said.

On why the majority of the party’s top leaders are from one tribe, Van Wyk said no one is prevented from contesting because of their tribe.
“Everyone is welcome to stand for any position, irrespective of their tribe,” he said.


Political analyst Ndumba Kamwanyah says it will be a mammoth task for the party to gain popularity in the current political climate.
“It is going to be a tall order for the simple reason that they have been invisible for some time,” he says.

“It is just now during elections, and that is problematic in the sense that they are out of the minds of many voters, so it is going to be difficult to get new voters or a support base,” he says.

Kamwanyah says it may require divine intervention for the party to be successful in the November elections.

“It will be a miracle if they achieve that,” he says.

The post UDF to release manifesto after 10 years appeared first on The Namibian.

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