The mood around next year's national elections can already be felt, with NUDO's MP Josef Kauandenge having tabled a motion to amend the Namibian Constitution's Article 47. The motion aims to remove what is perceived as discriminatory clauses that prevent employees of regional councils and local authorities, as well as civil servants, from participating in parliamentary elections.
Speaking in the National Assembly, Kauandenge argued that the clauses violate international human rights standards.
This includes Article 25 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and Article 25 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, which emphasise the right of citizens to participate in public affairs and elections.
"This isn't about party politics; this is about justice. We signed international agreements that recognise every citizen's right to participate in political life. Our Constitution must reflect this. Let's unite to make the necessary amendments."
Kauandenge questioned the rationale behind the clauses, which require regional council and local authorities' employees and civil servants to resign from their positions before participating in parliamentary elections. He stated that this has led to many talented individuals risking their jobs to enter the political sphere. He urged fellow members of parliament to recognise that the Constitution is a living document, open to amendments that improve the lives of the Namibian people.
The motion captured the attention of lawmakers from various political parties.