|Vice President||Jennifer Van den Heever|
|Founded||5 November 1977|
|Headquarters||123 John Meinert street|
|Youth wing||PDM Youth League|
|Women's wing||PDM Women's League|
|International affiliation||International Democrat Union (Associate member)|
|Regional Affiliation||Democrat Union of Africa|
|Colors|| Blue |
|Seats in the National Assembly|
16 / 104
|Seats in the National Council|
2 / 42
2 / 121
41 / 378
0 / 5
The Popular Democratic Movement (PDM), formerly the Democratic Turnhalle Alliance (DTA), 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. The party currently holds 16 seats in the Namibian National Assembly and one seat in the Namibian National Council and is the official opposition. McHenry Venaani is president of the PDM.
The PDM is an associate member of the International Democrat Union, a transnational grouping of national political parties generally identified with political conservatism, and a member of the Democrat Union of Africa, which was relaunched in Accra, Ghana in February 2019. The president of the party, McHenry Venaani, is the current chairperson of the Democrat Union of Africa.
The party was formed as the Democratic Turnhalle Alliance (DTA) on 5 November 1977 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). Participants of the Constitutional Conference walked out of the Constitutional Committee over the National Party's insistence on retaining apartheid legislation in the new constitution. Both the conference and DTA were named after the Turnhalle building (German for old Turners hall) in Windhoek where the conference was held.
The DTA won the 1978 South West African legislative election by a landslide, claiming 41 of the 50 seats. This was largely due to "widespread intimidation" and the presence of South African troops, particularly in the north of the territory. The subsequent interim government, consisting of a National Assembly and a Council of Ministers, lasted until 18 January 1983 when, due to continued interference by the South African Administrator-General the Council of Ministers resigned. 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. This void lasted until 17 June 1985 when the Transitional Government of National Unity (TGNU) was installed by the South African Administrator-General. Its legislative and executive actions were subject to South African approval, with newly appointed administrator-general Louis Pienaar having the veto right on all legislation to be passed. The TGNU was widely perceived as a largely powerless body that sought moderate reform but was unable to secure recognition by the United Nations.
The DTA dominated this government, too, albeit not with absolute majority: In the 62-seat National Assembly the DTA occupied 22, and five smaller parties got 8 seats each. On 1 March 1989 TGNU was suspended along the terms of United Nations Security Council Resolution 435 for it to give way to an independent government, determined by the November 1989 parliamentary elections. SWAPO won the elections, the DTA came distant second.
After Namibian independence the DTA lost several of its former affiliates. The Republican Party, the National Unity Democratic Organisation (NUDO), and the Action for Democratic Change all left the alliance in 2003, citing various grievances. The DTA's past affiliation with the apartheid government before Namibian independence continues to affect its current[update] public image.
On 4 November 2017, days after its 40th anniversary, the party was renamed the Popular Democratic Movement (PDM) in order to facilitate modernisation and to shed its "colonial" name.
Upon its foundation, Clemens Kapuuo became the first president of the party, and Dirk Mudge served as chairman. After Kapuuo's assassination in 1978 Cornelius Ndjoba became president on 3 July. The position of the vice-president was established on that day with Ben Africa as first incumbent.
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. 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. Muyongo fled Namibia and was replaced as DTA President by Katuutire Kaura, who called for Muyongo to be brought back and put on trial. Kaura served for three elective terms. In September 2013, he was defeated by McHenry Venaani.
The following parties participated at the Turnhalle Constitutional Conference and subsequently formed the Democratic Turnhalle Alliance:
|1994||Mishake Muyongo||114,843||23.66%||Lost N|
|1999||Katuutire Kaura||52,752||9.79%||Lost N|
|2014||McHenry Venaani||44,271||4.97%||Lost N|
41 / 50
21 / 72
15 / 72
7 / 78
4 / 78
2 / 72
5 / 104
16 / 104
6 / 26
4 / 26
1 / 26
1 / 26
1 / 42
2 / 42