DA leadership race is about personalities: Angelo Fick

Reading Time: 2 minutes

Director of Research at Auwal Socio-economic Research Institute (ASRI) Angelo Fick says the DA’s leadership race was about more than just personalities, but how the party could regain votes.

The Democratic Alliance’s elective congress has officially opened at the Midrand Conference Centre in Johannesburg.

Two thousand delegates are expected to attend the congress to discuss the party’s policies and to vote for new leadership.

Fick told the SABC that the DA needed to evolve and analyse the future in the country’s political landscape.

“I think there is a growth path for the party from, shall we say Tony Leon’s leadership to Helen Zille’s leadership. The Coetzee/Leon report indicated that it was because of the direction the party took under Maimane, that they lost their traditional supporters. Now in this particular phase under John, they haven’t yet had an election test, they will get that next year. And whether it’s Dr Phalatse or it’s Steenhuisen, the question is what has the past five years demonstrated to South Africans on the party’s future.”

VIDEO | Solly Malatse, Angelo Fick weigh-in ahead of the congress:

Meanwhile, DA leadership contender, Mpho Phalatse, says the party has a chance to bring the African National Congress (ANC) share of the vote to below 50% in the next election.

She is running for the party’s Federal leadership position against current party leader John Steenhuisen at the Elective Congress at the Midrand Conference Centre in Johannesburg.

Speaking to SABC News ahead of the official opening of the elective congress, Phalatse acknowledged that coalition governments were difficult to manage.

“Different political parties don’t view those coalition agreements in the same way. Some of them think it’s an easy opt-in opt-out agreement. Others view it a lot more seriously. We also saw the rise of checkbook politics, where there were indications or suspicions that people were being bribed to move one way or other because some of these will literally hang on by one seat.”

VIDEO | Mpho Phalatse looks forward to conference: