The National Legislative Assembly of Namibia (South West Africa) was officially inaugurated in Windhoek on Monday (21 May).
The National Legislative Assembly of Namibia (South West Africa) was officially inaugurated in Windhoek on Monday (21 May). The parliament mainly consists of representatives elected in a South African sponsored poll last November. The election was boycotted by a number of major political parties in the South African ruled territory and was declared null and void by the United Nations.
SYNOPSIS: Strict security surrounded the opening ceremony in the Turnhalle building. The South African Foreign Minister Pik Botha said there is no hope of breaking the deadlock between his government and the United nations about Namibia. Elections in the territory formed part of the United Nations' plan for Namibian independence. However the poll went ahead without United nations' supervision and without the participation of the South West African People's Organisation (SWAPO), the guerrilla group fighting for Namibian independence. Dirk Mudge, Chairman of the Democratic Turnhalle Alliance which won the election, posed for photographers with members of his party, before the inauguration ceremony.
South Africa's Administrator General in Namibia, Judge marthinus Steyn presided over the inauguration. He described the Assembly as the first opportunity of the Namibian people to take control over their own affairs. Judge Steyn made no mention of the lack of international recognition of the parliament. The United Nations General Assembly began a week-long debate on namibia on Wednesday (22 May) and there were expected to be calls for sanctions against South Africa for failing to implement the United Nations plan on Namibian independence.
South Africa accepted most of the United Nations' proposals but claimed the plan made no provision for the supervision of SWAPO bases in neighbouring African states and would permit SWAPO to establish bases within Namibia itself. The United Nations has recognised SWAPO as the only body legally representative of the Namibian people.
The former President of the Constituent Assembly, Johannes Skryuer was elected the first President of the National Assembly. Mr Skryuer said South Africa had now proved that it was prepared to grant independence to South West Africa. he appealed for parties not represented in the National Assembly to work towards peace in the territory.