The Popular Democratic Movement Youth League (PDMYL) will push for young people to dominate up to 45 percent out of the top 20 spots on the official opposition’s 2019 National Assembly list of candidates at its electoral college later this month.
PDMYL Secretary-General Bensen Katjirijova told CND-News that his constituents are ready to form part of any decision-making body within the party, as they are qualified to be in the National Assembly if given the chance.
According the youth leader, only four youth candidates made it onto the 2014 PDM National Assembly list. PDM managed to get a mere five seats during those elections and only young attorney Vipua Muharukua became a legislator in that lower house of Parliament.
“We have capable young people who can even be better ministers from my party. When I talk about young people, I am referring to people between the age 18 and 35 and not these young at heart people. And these people are there serving in our party’s rank and file,” said Katjirijova.
“We have young people in our party’s central committee and they are well represented in all party structures, majority of our regional coordinators are young people, and they are performing well.”
He added: “We did not know that McHenry Venaani (the party president) was going to be the leader of our party, but now look at what our youth wing has produced. A very determine leader ready to move Namibia forward.”
Katjirijova noted that he is trying his level best to lobby the party’s central committee and the electoral college delegates to include more young people on the list, and if things do not go accoridng to the plan, he will accept the outcome.
“As a party we send our young people all over the world to get leadership skills training and workshops. We have done our part as a party and it is now up to the youth leaders to decide on their future. We are the fastest growing party in the country and thus, should be an encouragement to young comrades to take the movement forward.”
He further blamed the Electoral Commission of Namibia for not educating young people especially, on matters of certain electoral processes, referring to the two recent bi-elections in Ondangwa and Oshakati East, respectively.
“I think we should look at the credibility of the electoral commission rather than putting the blame of poor voters’ turnout on opposition parties. We did our homework with the little resources we have, but that happened.”