WINDHOEK: President Hifikepunye Pohamba has nominated Minister of Trade and Industry Hage Geingob for the position of Swapo-Party Vice-President, possibly paving the way for him to become president of the country in two years’ time.
Pohamba nominated Geingob during the Swapo-Party’s politburo meeting which took place at State House today.
Cabinet sources on Tuesday informed Nampa that politburo member Uutoni Nujoma nominated current Swapo-Party Secretary-General (SG) Pendukeni Iivula-Ithana for the position of vice-president during the meeting, which was expected to map out plans on the succession of the party’s president, Pohamba.
Nangolo Mbumba, who is currently the party’s Deputy SG, will automatically become the Secretary-General of the party as he is the only candidate contesting that position.
The source also told this news agency that the nominated candidates are now allowed to campaign for their nominated positions.
A third candidate could be nominated from the floor at the Swapo-Party Congress slated for December.
In 2004, a third candidate was also nominated from the floor, but in that case it was used to garner votes for the favoured candidate when Swapo had three candidates – Hifikepunye Pohamba, Nahas Angula and Hidipo Hamutenya.
At the time, Angula withdrew from the race and his votes went to the current President of the Swapo-Party, Pohamba, who won the elections at the time.
A report carried in local English daily Namibian Sun on Monday stated that front-runners such as Iivula-Ithana, Geingob, and Angula were likely to earn nominations during the meeting, which would then put them on the road to presidency.
It was further reported that there is no limit on the number of nominees and that the meeting will give other cadres in the party – such as Speaker of the National Assembly Dr Theo-Ben Gurirab, Local and Regional Government Jerry Ekandjo and Deputy Prime Minister Marco Hausiku – amongst others, a chance at nomination as well.