Rally for Democracy and Progress (Namibia)
|Rally for Democracy and Progress|
|Founder||Hidipo Hamutenya, Jesaya Nyamu|
|Founded||November 17, 2007|
|Newspaper||Voice of Change|
|Youth wing||Rally for Democracy and Progress Youth League|
|Colors||Blue, Yellow, Green and Black
|Seats in the National Assembly|
|Website of RDP|
|Politics of Namibia
|This article is part of a series on the
politics and government of
The Rally for Democracy and Progress is an opposition political party in Namibia. It was launched on November 17 2007 under the leadership of Hidipo Hamutenya and Jesaya Nyamu, both former leading members of the ruling SWAPO party and cabinet ministers. Hamutenya had unsuccessfully sought the SWAPO nomination for President in 2004. At the time of the RDP's launch, it was considered to represent the strongest challenge to SWAPO's political dominance since the country gained its independence in 1990. According to Hamutenya, speaking at the RDP's launch, the party was "born in response to our people's deep longing for a vision, political direction and the rekindling of their hopes and aspiration for a better and prosperous future".
Speaking at a SWAPO rally on January 19 2008, SWAPO Secretary-General Pendukeni Iivula-Ithana accused the RDP of spreading lies and promoting tribalism. In early August 2008, she characterized the RDP as a tribal party "targeting the Oukwanyama in the Ohangwena Region".
2008 conference and criticism of Robert Mugabe
In December 2008, RDP held the party's first national conference. Hamutenya was officially selected as leader of the party. Other parties leaders included Steve Bezuidenhoudt, Jesaya Nyamu and Agnes Limbo. Concerning the crises in Zimbabwe, Hamutenya said "The Zimbabwe crisis is manmade and that regime should not be allowed to continue. It has led to poverty and hardship".
At the 2009 elections, RDP won 11% of the vote and 8 seats in the National Assembly. The party's leader and presidential candidate, Hidipo Hamutenya, won 10.91% of the vote. RDP and eight other opposition parties disputed the result and filed a case in court to have the results put aside, but the case was denied.
2010 regional elections, National Assembly boycott and merger
In March 2010, because of the disputed 2009 election, RDP decided to boycott the swearing-in ceremony of the National Assembly of Namibia. RDP decided to wait until the Supreme Court of Namibia ruled on whether to put aside the election results. It was not until 14 September 2010 that the eight RDP members of the National Assembly were sworn in.
On 8 September 2010, RDP began the process of subsuming the Republican Party led by Henk Mudge following a memorandum of understanding agreement on September 8. In the agreement, The Republican Party would begin to phase out as an independent political organization and eventually come under the umbrella of RDP. The parties said they would work together in the November 2010 regional and local elections to unseat the ruling SWAPO party.
- "New Namibian political party launched in challenge to ruling party", Associated Press (International Herald Tribune), November 18, 2007.
- Absalom Shigwedha, "Namibia: Swapo Lays Into RDP", The Namibian (allAfrica.com), January 21, 2008.
- Brigitte Weidlich, "Swapo faces onslaught"[dead link], The Namibian, August 5, 2008.
- Mugabe regime the problem: Hamutenya The Namibian, 9 December 2008
- [dead link] New Era, 23 March 2010
- Full house The Namibian, 15 September 2010
- RDP, RP marry[dead link] New Era, 8 September 2010
- RDP.org.na Official Web Site