Rally for Democracy and Progress (Namibia)

The Rally for Democracy and Progress (RDP) is an opposition political party in Namibia. It was launched on 17 November 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".[1]

Rally for Democracy and Progress
PresidentMike Kavekotora
Secretary-GeneralBrunhilde Cornelius
FounderHidipo Hamutenya
Jesaya Nyamu
Founded17 November 2007
HeadquartersSchönlein Street
Windhoek West
Khomas Region
NewspaperVoice of Change
Youth WingRDP Youth League
Women’s WingRDP Women’s League
African nationalism
Political positionCentre-left
ColorsBlue, Yellow, Green and Black
Seats in the National Assembly
3 / 104
Seats in the National Council
0 / 42
Regional Councillors
0 / 121
Local Councillors
16 / 378
Pan-African Parliament
0 / 5
Party flag
Flagge RDP Namibia.png
Website of RDP

2008 conference and criticism of Robert MugabeEdit

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".[2]

Election resultsEdit

National Assembly electionsEdit

Election Party leader Votes % Seats +/– Position Government
2009 Hidipo Hamutenya 90,556 11.16%
8 / 96
  8   2nd Opposition
2014 Hidipo Hamutenya 31,372 3.51%
3 / 96
  5   3rd Opposition
2019 Mike Kavekotora 8,953 1.09%
1 / 96
  2   9th Opposition

2009 electionsEdit

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.

The eight members of the National Assembly in 2010 were: Hidipo Hamutenya, Steve Bezuidenhout, Jesaya Nyamu, Agnes Limbo, Anton von Wietersheim, Kandy Nehova, Peter Naholo and Heiko Lucks.

2010 regional elections, National Assembly boycott and mergerEdit

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.[3] It was not until 14 September 2010 that the eight RDP members of the National Assembly were sworn in.[4]

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.[5]

In 2015 Jeremia Nambinga became president of the RDP. He was voted out of that position by a no-confidence vote in 2017 but challenged the result in court, and won. In August 2018 he resigned his presidency.[6] In 2019 Mike Kavekotora was elected president and Kennedy Shekupakela vice president.[7]


  1. ^ "New Namibian political party launched in challenge to ruling party", Associated Press (International Herald Tribune), November 18, 2007.
  2. ^ Mugabe regime the problem: Hamutenya The Namibian, 9 December 2008
  3. ^ [1] New Era, 23 March 2010
  4. ^ Full house The Namibian, 15 September 2010
  5. ^ RDP, RP marry New Era, 8 September 2010
  6. ^ Tjitemisa, Kuzeeko (10 August 2018). "Nambinga resigns as RDP president…vows to never join Swapo". New Era. p. 1.
  7. ^ Ngutjinazo, Okeri (2 June 2019). "Kavekotora elected as RDP president". The Namibian.

External linksEdit