Fri, 06 Dec 2019

DA deputy federal chair Ivan Meyer is considered a firm favourite going into Sunday's federal council meeting.

Meyer is running for interim federal chairperson against two other candidates Khume Ramulifho - MPL in the Gauteng legislature and Nomafrench Mbombo - DA Women's Network leader and Western Cape health MEC.

Dharmesh Dhaya - DA chief whip in the Buffalo City Metropolitan Municipality withdrew from the race.

Meyer is likely to join Steenhuisen, who is favoured for the position of interim leader, and federal council chair Helen Zille in steering the party toward a policy conference and its early elective congress in 2020.

The party has been in a state of political wilderness after the two heavy hitters Mmusi Maimane and federal chair Athol Trollip made shock resignations shortly after Zille was elected.

Mere formality

Without any direction from its own constitution in the sudden turn of events, the party elected on voting for an interim leader and federal chair.

The two party interim leaders would hold the fort until its early congress.

READ MORE | Leaderless DA aims to have conference in April 2020

Two party insiders have told News24 that the elections are a mere formality.

The DA, which has been battling to chart its way and convey its message to South Africans, has struggled to define itself, with some wanting it to remain "pure" and orthodox, while others arguing it should be about embracing and rallying around shared values.

This has seen party members differing on how much the State needs to assist in creating an inclusive environment for people to thrive in, or whether to intervene to address past imbalances.

"Meyer is ideal for the job. He knows the job well. There is no question about it, the majority in that room will vote for him," a council member said.

A total of 160 DA council members will gather at its Johannesburg headquarters for the elections.

The delegates will be made up of premiers, MECs, mayors, members of the different mayoral committees in the country as well as all national and provincial spokespersons.

The DA's presiding officer of federal council elections Desiree van der Walt, earlier told News24 that each candidate will have an opportunity to address council for five minutes and motivate why they believe they are the best person to occupy the office.

The result will be announced to party members at 13:30 and both newly elected interim leaders and Zille will address the media shortly afterward.

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