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Transitional Government of National Unity (Namibia)

The Transitional Government of National Unity (TGNU), also commonly called the Interim Government, was the interim government of South-West Africa (Namibia) from June 1985 to February 1989.

Contents

BackgroundEdit

Following the 1975–1977 Turnhalle Constitutional Conference, the first multiracial elections were held in the occupied territory in 1978, and a National Assembly as well as a Council of Ministers was constituted. Dirk Mudge became chairman of the ministerial council. Already in 1972 the United Nations had decreed SWAPO to be the "sole legitimate representative" of Namibia's people, but SWAPO was not invited to the Turnhalle conference and boycotted the subsequent elections. The United Nations Security Council consequently declared the election null and void, and the interim government illegitimate.[1][2]

Following interference by the South African Administrator-General the Council of Ministers resigned, and on 18 January 1983 South Africa accepted the dissolution of both the legislative and the executive body without elections being scheduled, and again assumed full administrative authority over South West Africa.[3][4]

The subsequent void was filled by South African administrators. Willie van Niekerk was appointed administrator-general for South West Africa and Jan F Greebe became chief executive officer. A Judicial Commission was appointed. Urged by United Nations Security Council Resolution 532 to speed up the process of releasing the territory into independence, a State Council was established in May 1983. In September this Council was obsoleted by the establishment of the Multi-Party Conference (MPC) which consisted of 19 parties but again excluded SWAPO.[5] The MPC issued the Windhoek Declaration of Basic Principles in 1984[6] and the Bill of Fundamental Rights and Objectives, wherein the establishment of a Transitional Government of National Unity is requested from the South African administration, in 1985.[7]

SetupEdit

On 17 June 1985, the Transitional Government of National Unity was installed by the South African Administrator-General. Its legislative and executive actions were subject to South African approval,[7] with newly appointed administrator-general Louis Pienaar having the veto right on all legislation to be passed.[8] The TGNU was perceived as a client government of South Africa that sought moderate reform but was unable to secure recognition by the United Nations.[9]

The body was dominated by the Democratic Turnhalle Alliance (DTA), then an alliance of ethnically based, unelected political parties.[9] The interim government consisted of a 62-seat National Assembly and an 8-seat Council of Ministers. The seats were allocated such that the DTA had 22, and five smaller parties got 8 seats each: Labour Party (LP), the National Party of South West Africa (NP), the Rehoboth Free Democratic Party, the South West Africa National Union (SWANU), and the SWAPO Democrats (SWAPO-D).[8] The position of the DTA was, however, not as strong as in the previous government after the 1978 elections where it occupied 41 out of the 50 seats. This time, the five smaller parties could easily outvote the DTA.[10]

On 1 March 1989 TNGU was suspended along the terms of United Nations Security Council Resolution 435[3] for it to give way to an independent government, determined by the November 1989 parliamentary elections. SWAPO won the elections but fell short of a two-thirds majority which would have enabled it to write the constitution on its own.[11][12]

CabinetEdit

TNGU was chaired on a three-month round robin basis by its cabinet members.

Dates[13] Chairman Ministerial portfolio[7] Party
17 June 1985 — 16 September 1985 Dawid Bezuidenhout Transport Labour Party
17 September 1985 — 16 December 1985 Hans Diergaardt Local Authorities and Civic Affairs Rehoboth Free Democratic Party
17 December 1985 — 16 March 1986 Moses Katjikuru Katjiuongua Manpower, National Health and Welfare SWANU
17 March 1986 — 16 June 1986 Fanuel Kozonguizi Justice, Information, Post and Telecommunication Democratic Turnhalle Alliance
17 June 1986 — 16 September 1986 Andrew Matjila Education and Central Personnel Institution Democratic Turnhalle Alliance
17 September 1986 — 16 December 1986 Dirk Mudge Finance and Government Affairs Democratic Turnhalle Alliance
17 December 1986 — 31 January 1987 Ebenezer van Zijl Agriculture, Water Affairs and Fisheries South West National Party
1 February 1987 — 30 April 1987 Andreas Shipanga Nature Conservation, Mining, Commerce and Tourism SWAPO Democrats
1 May 1987 — 31 July 1987 Dawid Bezuidenhout Transport Labour Party of Namibia
1 August 1987 — 17 January 1988 Jan de Wet South West National Party
18 January 1988 — 17 April 1988 Moses Katjikuru Katjiuongua Manpower, National Health and Welfare South West African National Union
18 April 1988 — 17 July 1988 Andrew Matjila Education and Central Personnel Institution Democratic Turnhalle Alliance
18 July 1988 — 17 October 1988 Dirk Mudge Finance and Government Affairs Democratic Turnhalle Alliance
18 October 1988 — December 1988 Andreas Shipanga Nature Conservation, Mining, Commerce and Tourism SWAPO Democrats
December 1988 — January 1989 Andrew Matjila Education and Central Personnel Institution Democratic Turnhalle Alliance
January 1989 — 28 February 1989 Harry Booysen Labour Party of Namibia

ReferencesEdit

NotesEdit

  1. ^ BBC News - Namibia profile
  2. ^ Nohlen, Dieter; Krennerich, Michael; Thibaut, Bernhard (1999). Elections in Africa: a data handbook. Oxford University Press. p. 660. ISBN 0-19-829645-2. Retrieved September 13, 2011.
  3. ^ a b NDI 1989, p. 12.
  4. ^ Owen, Robert C (Winter 1987–88). "Counterrevolution in Namibia". Airpower Journal.
  5. ^ Dierks, Klaus. "Chronology of Namibian History, 1983". Retrieved October 29, 2014.
  6. ^ Dierks, Klaus. "Chronology of Namibian History, 1984". Retrieved October 29, 2014.
  7. ^ a b c Dierks, Klaus. "Chronology of Namibian History, 1985". klausdierks.com. Retrieved October 29, 2014.
  8. ^ a b NDI 1989, p. 13.
  9. ^ a b DTA ‘Down but Not Out’ RehobothBasters.org
  10. ^ Mudge, Dirk. The art of compromise: Constitution-making in Namibia (PDF). Konrad Adenauer Foundation. p. 126. Retrieved September 23, 2014.
  11. ^ Namibia Archived 2010-01-01 at the Wayback Machine Tiscali Encyclopedia
  12. ^ Wren, Christopher S (November 15, 1989). "Namibia Rebel Group Wins Vote, But It Falls Short of Full Control". New York Times.
  13. ^ List of TGNU leaders worldstatesmen.org

LiteratureEdit