Democratic Turnhalle Alliance


Democratic Turnhalle Alliance

The Democratic Turnhalle Alliance (DTA) (German: Demokratische Turnhallenallianz) is an amalgamation of political parties in Namibia, registered as one singular party for representation purposes. In coalition with the United Democratic Front, it formed the official opposition in Parliament until the parliamentary elections in 2009. Katuutire Kaura is president of the DTA.

The party was formed as a result of the Turnhalle Constitutional Conference held in Windhoek from 1975 to 1977 as a counterbalance and main opposition to the South West Africa People's Organization (SWAPO). Both conference and DTA are named after the Turnhalle building in Windhoek where the conference was held.[1]

Mishake Muyongo led the party through the early years of independence, and in the 1994 presidential election he placed second, behind President Sam Nujoma, with 23.08% of the vote.[2] After Muyongo expressed support for Caprivi secession in 1998, he and the party he represented in the alliance, the United Democratic Party, was suspended from the DTA in August 1998 at an extraordinary meeting of the party's executive committee.[3] Muyongo fled Namibia and was replaced as DTA President by Katuutire Kaura, who called for Muyongo to be brought back and put on trial.[4]

In the parliamentary election held on 15–16 November 2004, the party won 5% of the popular vote and 4 out of 78 seats. The DTA is an associate member of the International Democrat Union, a transnational grouping of national political parties generally identified with political conservatism.

The name comes from the old Turners hall (in German Turnhalle) in Windhoek, where constitutional negotiations were held from 1975 to 1977. The party was founded in November 1977 by participants in the Turnhalle Constitutional Conference who walked out of the Constitutional Committee over the National Party's insistence on retaining some apartheid legislation in the new constitution.

Founding parties of the DTA

The following parties participated at the Turnhalle Constitutional Conference and subsequently formed the Democratic Turnhalle Alliance:[5]

  • South West African Labour Party
  • Bushman Alliance (BA)
  • Caprivi delegation
  • Namibia Democratic Turnhalle Party (NDTP, Nama)
  • National Democratic Party (NDP, Owambo)
  • National Unity Democratic Organization (Nudo, Herero)
  • Rehoboth DTA Party (RDTAP), formerly the Rehoboth Baster Association
  • Republican Party (Whites)
  • Seoposengwe Party (Tswana)
  • South West Africa People's Democratic United Front (SWAP-DUF, Damara)
  • National Democratic Unity Party (NDUP, Kavango)
  • Christian Democrat Union (CDU, Coloured)

External links

References

  1. ^ Dierks, Klaus. "Chronologie der Geschichte Namibias, 1977 [Chronology of Namibian History, 1977]" (in German). klausdierks.com. http://www.klausdierks.com/Geschichte/119.htm. Retrieved 8 September 2011. 
  2. ^ Political Parties of the World (6th edition, 2005), ed. Bogdan Szajkowski, page 428.
  3. ^ "Namibia: Opposition party reportedly suspends leader", SAPA news agency (nl.newsbank.com), August 25, 1998.
  4. ^ "Namibia: Party leader says ex-opposition leader Muyongo should return, be tried", NBC Radio, Windhoek (nl.newsbank.com), October 31, 1998.
  5. ^ Kangueehi, Kuvee (22 October 2004). "DTA ‘Down but Not Out’". New Era. http://rehobothbasters.org/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=279&Itemid=38. Retrieved 26 April 2010. 



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