How does the multiparty affect the Indians

The seeds are growing: The Namibians have become more democratic Survey results 1989 to 2005 HERIBERT WEILAND Theodor Hanf has dealt intensively with questions of peace and conflict research in his studies and in a large number of countries with ethno-religious and socio-economic segmentation for possibilities for wanted a democratic coexistence. He chose comparative empirical research as a method, which enabled him to work out the causes and backgrounds of the conflict in a comparative manner through representative opinion polls and interviews with leading personalities in the respective study country. In keeping with the Freiburg School of Practical Political Science founded by Arnold Bergstraesser, he has also always understood how to translate the research results into concrete instructions and thereby significantly influence political decision-making processes. The results of the studies on peaceful change in South Africa1 became the subject of the so-called Titiseekonferenz2, which for the first time brought together influential personalities from the ANC and an incumbent minister of the apartheid government on neutral soil in the Black Forest and thus laid the foundation for many follow-up encounters at which the soil for which ultimately unexpectedly peaceful democratization was prepared. The results of his empirical surveys played a similarly important role for political discussions at high-level conferences in other countries - Lebanon, Indonesia, Georgia, Palestine, Rwanda and the Democratic Republic of the Congo should be mentioned in particular. Theodor Hanf has repeatedly involved colleagues from the Arnold Bergstraesser Institute or employees from international correspondence institutes in his comparative conflict research and at the same time provided impetus for further empirical conflict and democratization studies. I owe him the suggestion for a series of empirical works that I was able to carry out myself in the 80s and 90s before and after Namibia's political independence. Much of what we had previously worked out together in the aforementioned research on the possibilities of peaceful change in the Republic of South Africa was continued in them. With the support of the UNESCO Institute International Center for Human Sciences in Byblos, Lebanon, currently headed by Theodor Hanf, a further empirical survey was finally carried out in Namibia in 20053. This survey, which a. exploring the democratic potential of today's Namibian society allows a long- 1 Theodor Hanf, Heribert Weiland, Gerda Vierdag, South Africa: The Prospects of Peaceful Change, London, Cape Town, Bloomington 1981 2 Gerda Vierdag, South Africa: Peaceful Change? Reviews, statements and press comments, Bonn 1978 3 The survey was carried out in October 2005 by the Namibian opinion research institute Research Facilitation Services (RFS), Windhoek, and statistically evaluated at the Arnold Bergstraesser Institute by Petra Bauerle, whom I would like to thank very much. It is a representative survey (N = 875), which, however, had to be limited to Metropolitan-Windhoek for cost reasons. The seeds are growing: The Namibians have become more democratic. 477 tudinal comparison to assess the chances for a democratic consolidation, a good 15 years after the founding of the South West African state. Namibia's independence, which in 1990 peacefully ended the domination of the apartheid state of South Africa after bloody decolonization conflicts, came about not least through the coordinated action of the superpowers at the time, which also made the United Nation Transition Assistance Group (UNTAG) a success and an end 1989 enabled free and fair founding elections. The good start was crowned by a democratic constitution, which, according to the judgment of Western constitutional experts, is one of the most liberal and which has been passed by parliament in Africa to date. The question that has arisen again and again in Africa since 1990 with the establishment of new, post-colonial structures relates to the political transformation to democracy. After almost 100 years of colonial foreign rule and after decades of discrimination under the South African apartheid regime, has the country succeeded in building a democratic system that meets the liberal democratic claims of its constitution? As a first attempt to answer this question, two lines of conflict must be pointed out, both of which go back to the colonial past and which still influence political developments today. One concerns the increasing socio-political differentiation within the Namibian population. Despite the strong emphasis on a nation-building process that included all ethnic groups in the first years after independence, the political system is today more than ever characterized by the dominance of the Owambo as a majority ethnic group4. Most positions in public life are occupied by Owambo. The strong ethnic identification of this ethnic group with the political community of the entire state of Namibia, which is explained by the leading role of the Owambo in the liberation struggle and is reflected in the SWAPO as the dominant majority party, has increased rather than alleviated the ethnic tensions. The open power struggle within the SWAPO (South West African People’s Organization) to fill leadership positions within the party in the run-up to the presidential elections turned out to be all the more important for the country’s political development. Ex-President Nujoma, who is still party leader of the SWAPO, succeeded during a special party congress to assert the power of his own party wing in an almost coup d'état. Nevertheless, the seemingly monolithic ethno-political bloc was broken up for the first time. This example shows the character of the other line of conflict. It's about the political culture of the young state. Regardless of the liberal constitution, the government has maintained a very authoritarian leadership style from the start. The power elite that emerged from democratic elections has accepted the basic democratic rights and the right to a say of the various constitutional organs in principle and has not disregarded decisions made by the highest judges. Kwambi, Kwanyama, Ndonga, Nganjera etc.) and the term “Owambo” as a generic term for the oshiwambo-speaking groups is politically burdened by the colonial past. Nevertheless, the term is used here to enable a statistical comparison. Heribert Weiland 478 refuses. In everyday life, however, she practices a more pronounced autocratic style of government. Here the political legacy of an undemocratic colonial era becomes visible in two ways. The South African administration controlled the "SWA-Namibia" colony from Pretoria and gave the government organizations in Windhoek little room to maneuver, even if the gymnasium parliament was supposed to pretend democratic freedoms to the outside world. The organizational structure of the liberation movement SWAPO, which had returned from exile and which immediately took power after independence, became even more important for the style of government in the new Namibia. The political culture of SWAPO and its wing PLAN (People’s Liberation Army of Namibia) was characterized by the vertical lines of command extremely authoritarian and was also influenced by the close ties to the former Eastern Bloc states in their centralistic orientation. In independent Namibia, this influence continues to this day, so that the SWAPO government has been aptly described by political observers as the “liberation movement in power” (Saul / Leys, Melber). If one also takes into account that a "Dominant Party System" has developed in Namibia since independence, in which the SWAPO was even able to achieve a three-quarters majority in the last two elections in 1999 and 2004, the question arises whether the growing dominance of Owambo, on the one hand, and a political culture that can be described as authoritarian, on the other, could or not significantly impair the democratization process that began with independence. The following statements show that the assessment must be very differentiated. It is no coincidence that observers from science and journalism assess the political process in Namibia differently. Some emphasize again and again that free elections take place regularly in Namibia, the separation of powers basically works, and criticism of the government in the media, especially the press, can be expressed unhindered, sometimes even very loudly. The head of government until the beginning of 2005, Sam Nujoma, even resisted the temptation to run again in 2004, so that a constitutional amendment (Lex Nujoma) planned for this case and perceived as undemocratic was not even necessary. Others oppose that behind a democratic facade, deficits in participatory and rule of law are repeatedly visible and that the diffusion of a democratic culture takes place very slowly, if at all. The government's authoritarian, party-controlled behavior creates the impression that the state belongs to the government5. From this latter point of view, Namibia can at best be described as “hyphenated democracy” (semi-democratic). Despite formal democratic structures, the state shows clear neo-patrimonial and anti-democratic characteristics and should therefore be assigned to the category of “defective democracies” (Merkel). There is no doubt that arguments and indications can be cited for both viewpoints in the political discussion. The following remarks focus less on Namibian government policy and concentrate on representatively determined opinions and attitudes of the population towards democratic consolidation in their state. With such an analysis, which follows the political culture approach, the often one-sided actor and elite theoretical perspective in the political science 5 Henning Melber, 'Presidential indispensability' in Namibia: Moving out of office but staying in power? in: Roger Southalland Henning Melber, Legacies of Power, Leadership Change and Former Presidentsin African Politics, Cape Town / Uppsala 2006 The seeds are growing: The Namibians have become more democratic. The author is in the fortunate position of being able to compare survey data on the “democratic citizen culture” (Linz / Stepan; Merkel) from the early 1990s with newly collected data from 2005 in a longitudinal comparison. Accordingly, socio-political attitudes towards voting behavior (belief in legitimacy), leadership orientation (political trust), liberal-democratic order (political system orientation) and democratic values ​​and norms (civil society) will be examined. A detailed and more extensive study on this comparison is in preparation. Political legitimation and voting behavior There was no tradition of large mass parties in Namibia. Instead, 'notables parties' dominated, i. H. Groups that were small in number as a clientele of prominent personalities and mostly had an ethnic base. An exception is the SWAPO, which also emerged from an ethnic party (Ovambo People’s Organization), but was able to establish itself as a mass movement due to the special conditions of the liberation struggle and established itself as the political mouthpiece of migrant workers from the north throughout the country early on. The step towards becoming a national party was primarily achieved with external help: the UN declared the liberation movement SWAPO with its exiled leadership as the “sole authentic and legitimate representative of the Namibian people”. Awarded this seal of approval, SWAPO returned to Namibia in the run-up to independence and was able to stand for election as a political party with the image of a victorious national liberation movement. It was also particularly attracted by its charismatic leader Sam Nujoma, who was praised as a hero of freedom. So it is not surprising that immediately after their return, SWAPO established itself as the strongest, nationalist-minded force and clearly won the elections. The official election results since 1989 speak their own language: After the absolute majority (57.3%) achieved immediately in the founding elections, SWAPO was inexorably able to unite more and more votes in the following elections with Nujoma as party and state president. Since 1999 the government has been able to invoke a three-quarters majority. There can be no doubt about the legitimacy of this majority in the “Dominant Party System”. From the perspective of democracy theory, however, the question arises whether and to what extent such a massive preponderance of a party, which is dominantly represented in the national parliament, but also in regional and local bodies and in the administrative apparatus, does not threaten to stifle political pluralism Despite its liberal constitution, Namibia is only allowed to label democracy to a very limited extent. It is precisely for this reason that not only the institutionalized power relations and the behavior of a power-conscious political elite, but also the data on the democratic attitudes and behavior of the population obtained through opinion polls are of interest. The fact that SWAPO can rely on the majority support from the population is evident not only from the official election results, but also from all the surveys carried out by the author. While the official election results for Heribert Weiland show 480 increases for SWAPO from 57% (1989) to 76% (2004), the surveys also have similar, if not quite as high, political support values ​​with 53% (1998) and 67% (2005) surrender. It is crucial that the votes for SWAPO came not only from the Oshivambo-speaking groups in the north and in the industrial centers of the country, but then as now, more than 20% also from members of other ethnic groups. This is an indication that SWAPO has actually succeeded in becoming a national party, even if the SWAPO strongholds in the densely populated north of the country continue to decide on parliamentary majorities and can be seen as a cadre forge for the recruitment of politicians and high officials. In a “dominant party system”, election results alone can hardly be used as a barometer for a democratic orientation. More important is the importance that citizens attach to elections as the basic principles of political participation, party competition and the legitimation basis for political rule. In this regard, the official election statistics, but also the survey data, are very clear. Voter turnout decreased after the founding elections, but then increased significantly again (2004: 85%). All surveys, including that of Antonie Nord6 from 1999, indicate that around four fifths consider elections to be significant and are willing to participate in politics by voting. However, there are differences in terms of level of education and regional / ethnic origin. The educated show a significantly higher willingness to participate. The same applies to the respondents from northern Namibia, who identify with SWAPO and its leaders much more strongly than the residents of southern and central Namibia, especially members of the language groups Nama, Damara and Afrikaans. Interestingly, the white Namibians, the overwhelming majority of whom still reject SWAPO, tend to distance themselves from politics.7 Political trust in the leadership Namibia is a presidential democracy which, according to the constitution, grants the president far-reaching powers. If the presidency is also exercised by a strong leader, as was the case with party leader Sam Nujoma up to 2005, there is a risk of autocratic leadership that can restrict the leeway of other constitutional organs and narrow the channels of articulation in civil society. In fact, Nujoma, who had ruthlessly consolidated his leadership role while in exile, has been repeatedly criticized as president for his authoritarian leadership style. Even if he did not run for a fourth term after long hesitation, he still seems to be trying to keep the political reins firmly in hand through the party chairmanship in SWAPO. In public 6 Antonie Nord, The Legitimation of Democracy in Southern Africa. A comparative analysis of political attitudes in Namibia and Botswana, Münster 2004, pp. 172 ff 7 On the political attitudes of white Namibians, especially German-speaking, see Heribert Weiland, Transition in Namibia.Decolonization - Becoming a Nation - Democratization, Freiburg 1996 The seeds are growing: The Namibians have become more democratic. 481 accordingly, there was speculation as to what leeway Nujoma would allow his successor Hifikepunye Pohamba, a loyal partisan from the exile times. In the representative survey at the end of 2005, a few months after Pohamba took office, the population was asked which Namibian politician they admire most. Nujoma accounted for 26% and Pohamba for 33%. First of all, one could conclude that there is a blind leadership orientation that is assigned to the official without regard to the person. It is noteworthy, however, that the new President Pohamba was able to clearly prevail in the public favor over his charismatic predecessor. This is certainly due to the fact that - surprisingly for many - he introduced a new style of politics and loudly declared war on the rampant corruption in Namibia. In addition, another finding is striking: the public's admiration and respect for their top politicians are generally limited. This was still different from 15 years ago: in 1989, 71% of the population admired Nujoma as a freedom fighter and father of the nation. Its popularity fell by 10–15% in the following years and has now leveled off at around 50%. It can be assumed that he lost support as a result of the spectacular ban beam against his potential rival Hamutenya in 2004, which almost split the party. It shows that especially among the respondents from the north, home of both top politicians, the sympathy values ​​for Nujoma have fallen massively (49% in 2005 compared to 81% at the time of independence). It is also interesting that President Pohamba, although Owambo and a member of the Swapo Politburo, also received a lot of support from other parties in the survey, above all from the CoD (Congress of Democrats). To assess the leadership orientation of the Namibian population, it should be added that of a total of 69% of those questioned who support the current political leadership, only 35% would be willing to unreservedly follow. In the early 1990s there was no question of such skepticism, which shows democratic maturity. A criticism of the then still young government was hardly conceivable and was rejected by three-quarters of the population. Overall, this overview shows that the Namibians' democratic awareness is not bad. The ruling politicians are judged with the necessary distance. On the other hand, it can also be said that the state leadership enjoys such a high level of sympathy among the population that it can make important, even unpopular decisions without running the risk of carelessly jeopardizing its legitimacy and support. Political system orientation Further conclusions about the democratic orientation of the Namibian citizens result from the attitudes towards different forms of government, which they consider to be politically suitable for their country. These conclusions can be drawn from the following battery of questions that were presented to the respondents in 2005: 8 8 The statements cited find their almost literal equivalent in the questionnaires that were used in the early 1990s. Heribert Weiland 482 There are many countries like ours. That is, a country with different religious, language and ethnic groups. There are different forms of government in these countries and different opinions about what is the best way of ruling such a country. We will give you some of these opinions. Please tell us whether you find each of the following opinions acceptable or not. yes no a) The country is divided up and groups form their own states 20 80 b) The most numerous group rules, and the other groups accept what is decided 19 81 c) One group (majority or not) rules over the others, and people that refuse to accept this have to keep quiet or leave 12 88 d) A single party open to everyone rules without opposition 19 81 e) A joint government with a quota for all major groups 63 37 f) All people vote for any party they like, and the winning party (parties) rule (s) with other parties in the opposition 89 11 The result surprisingly reveals fundamental democratic convictions. The overwhelming majority are in favor of democratic, participatory forms of government, be it a majority government in a plural party system or a form of government based on concordance democracy. A one-party system is rejected, as is the unrestricted dominance of an ethnic group. This is particularly noteworthy because the Oshivambo-speaking groups, who make up over 50% of the population and the majority of which are SWAPO supporters, reject such political solutions by an overwhelming majority. There is significant support for non-democratic forms of government only among the poorly or not at all educated (35%). This fact underlines the observation known from similar studies that the democratic orientation corresponds with increasing education. A longitudinal comparison shows a clear strengthening of democratic attitudes. In 1989 64% of the black Namibians and as much as 83% of the Owambo spoke out in favor of the establishment of a one-party system, as was the case in many other African countries at the time. After independence, the state should only be governed by one party - the SWAPO, which emerged from the liberation movement - and other social forces should be eliminated if possible. At that time the opposite pole was formed by the parties cooperating with South Africa and, above all, the whites, who only 4% supported such a form of government, but 83% were in favor of concordance democracy (power sharing), which is not surprising from the perspective of minority groups. Interestingly, the “democratic normal case”, a majority government within a multi-party system, was hardly targeted by either extreme group at the time. The relatively small group of 16% who spoke out in favor of a democratic majority government consisted primarily of highly educated people. However, for the transition period at that time, it was necessary to differentiate between opinions before and after independence. The 1991 survey already shows a clearly different pattern than the pattern that existed in 1989 before independence. In the follow-up surveys, the option for the one-party state appeared less and less. The more The seed is growing: The Namibians have become more democratic. 483 party system was more strongly supported from survey to survey and in 1994 it achieved an approval rating of more than 50%. If you add the proponents of power sharing, who in principle also assume a multi-party system, the percentage of democrats who support political competition increases gradually to almost 80% of the population after independence. In 2005, 95% of the educated were in favor of a democratic multi-party system and 87% of the Owambo were in favor of a plural party system. The change of opinion that is becoming visible here is particularly significant for the black majority population and extremely informative for the democratic consolidation in Namibia. It turns out that structural or institutional changes obviously have a strong effect on opinion formation: “institutions matter”. The process of constitution-making and democratization, which was largely externally influenced, was gradually accepted and approved by the population. President Nujoma and some representatives in SWAPO have the merit of having carried the associated changes in attitudes into SWAPO, at least in the early years of his reign. The fact that SWAPO was able to accept a multi-party system with its absolute majority without fear of survival certainly influenced the changes in attitudes. In the meantime, as shown above, beliefs have apparently become stronger. Position of civil society In the sense of the basic principles formulated by Dahl, the process of democratization is about the acceptance of democratic values ​​and norms and about the participation of civil society in political events. What is meant is the multitude of institutions that try to influence state action through their public appearance and, depending on the nature and extent of the demands, can provoke and provoke reactions from the government. Since criticism and confrontation are difficult to reconcile with an authoritarian, centralized state, the existence and complexity of a civil society are at the same time an indicator of the democratization of a community. Even if the degree of organization of civil society groups in the large rural areas of Namibia with a low population density is not very strong, institutions such as churches, parties, ethnic organizations, women's organizations or radio and press have become increasingly important as institutions of civil society. The question arises as to how these institutions and the opinions they represent are perceived and accepted by the population despite the occasional obstruction and intimidation by the government. Several surveys asked about the degree of influence and importance of different groups of people in politics and society. Interestingly, parliamentarians and leading party politicians (90%) then as now are believed to have the greatest influence in society, followed closely by church representatives (83%) and traditional leaders (77%) 9. The church ties are still high within the population - the same applies to religiosity - however, its political status has changed. The representatives of the Christian churches, in particular the representatives of the CCN (Council of Churches of Namibia), had a high priority within SWAPO before independence because they supported the liberation struggle and a large part of the international support went through the churches. In independent Namibia, CCN influence decreased. The majority of the ruling elite turned away from the churches, which were no longer important to them. On the other hand, the churches took on an increasingly critical guardian role and became an essential factor in civil society. The government also had to take note of this. The support of the churches within the population thus remains high. The same applies to traditional leaders. In the final phase of the liberation struggle, their influence threatened to wane because the South African apartheid government tried to corrupt them for their political goals. But anyone who predicted an end to the political significance of traditional elites and traditional habits was soon mistaken. The modern state had to recognize the great social importance of the traditional regulations and must also respect the traditional leaders as part of civil society. The high respect they enjoy in the population forces them to behave in this way. After all, civil liberties, especially the protection of freedom of expression and information, are particularly important for the development of a democratic civil society. In fact, the government repeatedly tried to narrow the freedom in the media landscape, be it through public intimidation attempts by journalists or church representatives, through government-friendly vacancies in the state radio and television companies or through economic manipulation in the press sector. However, all attempts at repression turned out to be unsuccessful, as the survey results from 2005 show: 78% of those questioned are in favor of unrestricted freedom of the press10. 81% condemn all forms of censorship. These figures confirm earlier survey data, but at the same time signal a noticeable increase in the demand for civil liberties. This trend is particularly evident with regard to the freedom of assembly and demonstration: three quarters of those questioned criticized any restriction on oppositional activity. At the beginning of the 1990s, 35% understood the limitation of oppositional activities. Finally, one more observation on the form of political protest: 84% condemn violent protests, 93% support peaceful gatherings and demonstrations. This high percentage, which has increased by more than 20% compared to 1994, should be appreciated against the background of a bloody liberation struggle that was characterized by massive human rights violations. Wanting to bring about change through non-violent protest or through elections (78%) is particularly remarkable in a post-conflict society like Namibia, because the traumas of past excesses of violence are far from over. On the one hand, the brutality of the South African army and its Namibian Koevoet mercenaries are still in direct memory, on the other hand, the abuse of their own people at the end of the 1990s is evident from the fact that the question posed a risk of disunity ( to prevent disunity) is indicated. The seeds are growing: The Namibians have become more democratic. 485 ned followers through the SWAPO became generally known in the Angolan dungeons. The fact that the political conclusions are so clearly peaceful can be seen as a certificate of maturity for Namibian civil society. Because the political discourse will continue to be conflict-free, as the demands for land reform or redistribution measures in view of the massive income differences in Namibia show. It is noticeable in this context that the ethnic tensions, which exist at least latently, have not led to more intense disputes. More recently, there has only been one significant use of force, in the attempt to secede Muyongo in the Caprivi11. It is also worth mentioning the relatively problem-free coexistence of white and black, which seemed to be heavily burdened precisely because of the South African apartheid legacy. Many observers feared that the political crisis in Zimbabwe over land expropriation would spill over to Namibia. The political leadership, especially under the new President Pohamba, has so far been very clever on this issue and has thus avoided further aggravating the potential conflict. Obviously with success, because in the survey in late 2005, 54% of those questioned stated that the question of land distribution should not be overestimated and that solving other problems was more important. Outlook Namibia is one of the countries that has made a good start to independence. Nevertheless, the initial expectations of an early democratic consolidation were only partially met. Similar to some other African countries, the democratization process came to a standstill due to clientelistic practices of the rulers, corruption and the autocratic style of government of its first president. All the more surprising are the survey results from 2005, which show that there is a gap between the behavior of the political power elite and the attitudes of the population.12 The data collected indicate a surge in democratization over the past decade. Although it cannot be described as spectacular, it shows that democratic awareness is growing. The constitutional organs and their functions are respected and civil society activities are accepted. This finding is in line with the results of the Afrobarometer for Namibia13 presented in 2003, even if the data there tends to be assessed more critically than here. It remains undisputed that the democracy, with its values ​​and institutions, which was only imported in 1990, has gradually been accepted by the population and is likely to be demanded again and again in future - even against the will of the rulers. 11 In terms of civil society engagement, the reaction of the media, which by the majority sharply criticized the brutal actions of the military against the local population, can even be assessed positively. 12 A certain reservation about this generalizing statement has to be made for methodological reasons. The sample is not representative of the whole country, but only of Metropolitan Windhoek. This should not affect the basic thesis, but could lead to slight shifts in the statistical data presented. 13 Christian Keulder and Tania Wiese, Democracy without Democrats? Results from the 2003 Afrobarometer Survey in Namibia, Working Paper No.47, Cape Town / Accra / Michigan, 2005