Multi-Party National Charter of South Africa aims to deal with voter apathy

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More than half of eligible voters did not vote in the last general elections. Democratic Alliance leader John Steenhuisen says this is who the Multi-Party National Charter of South Africa hopes to target to consolidate change in the country’s political system.

Seven political parties formed the Charter last week in a bid to remove the African National Congress from national government, should the ruling party not secure an outright majority in next year’s election.

Steenhuisen says the newly-formed charter is an alternative for what he has termed a seemingly apathetic voting population.

“There are 27 million people in South Africa who have not voted in the last two elections. To put that in context, the ANC won the last election with 5.1 million votes. If the initiative, and the pact, is able to excite and enthuse those 27 million South Africans that their vote does count and that this time the election results are not a foregone conclusion, and that their vote could be one of those votes that get a new government over the majority and if the politicians can put their differences aside; if we can focus on building something for the people, we can encourage many many more residents to register, make sure they are correctly registered and come out in large numbers and vote.”

The multiparty convention was hosted last week: 

Meanwhile, the IFP Youth Brigade’s national executive committee has sent its president a letter of concern about the party’s participation in the Multi-Party National Charter of South Africa.

The charter includes a commitment to remove the ANC from power in next year’s poll.

In the letter, the IFP Youth Brigade says the party has a standing resolution that it is open to working with any party. This matter is expected to lead the agenda of a meeting of the party’s National Executive Committee in Durban today.