- There were not too many surprises in the election of new leaders for the DA at their federal conference with the leadership team mostly being made up of white men
- Two amendments to the constitution have raised eyebrows among observers, one, the so called, "Patricia clause" passed and will make it easier for the party to recall leaders who have fallen out of favour
- The amendment which failed to gain approval would have made it possible for the party to elect a deputy leader
Nobody expected many surprises from opposition party, the Democratic Alliance (DA)'s federal elective conference held this weekend.
However the biggest news of the event turned out to be some changes to the party's constitution with an amendment known as the so-called Patricia clause which would allow the party to recall a member.
Briefly.co.za understands that it is widely believed that this constitutional amendment to the party rules could assist the party in booting Cape Town Mayor, Patricia de Lille, from office.
The majority of the DA federal congress voted in favour of the amendment which, as adopted, means if the party’s president, premier, mayor or any public representative elected into the executive office in the DA-led government loses the confidence of their caucus, they will be expected to tender a resignation within 48 hours after having been afforded the opportunity to make representations.
The amendment also stipulated that a person also first needs to leave the Federal Executive before a vote of no confidence takes place in a caucus.
If they do not resign within the stipulated time frame, the party would then terminate their membership.
Leadership elective process
The elective part of the conference went, as many expected, smoothly. Mmusi Maimane was re-elected as leader, and Athol Trollip was re-elected as federal chair while James Selfe was been elected as the federal council chair.
Michael Waters, Ivan Meyer and Refiloe Ntsekhe were named as the three deputy federal chairpersons while Dion George was elected as the federal finance chair.
Commenters on a live broadcast of the election results did note that it was disappointing that so few women and so few people of colour were included in the leadership.
A beaming Maimane, who has now been handed an unopposed mandate to lead the DA for another three years said the party is heading towards its most important elections in 2019. “Democrats 2019 is going to be a significant election. It’s probably going to be the most important election we’ve ever had as a party.”
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