Democratic Alliance heavyweights chicken out of debate over top job

Democratic Alliance heavyweights chicken out of debate over top job

- The race to become the next Federal Council Chair of the Democratic Alliance is heating up

- Three of the four candidates had been slotted in to participate in a live debate

- However, the participants have pulled out at the last minute to avoid a 'negative' campaign

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The position of Federal Council Chair has seen Athol Trollip, Helen Zille, Mike Walters and Thomas Walters all competing for supremacy. reported that former party leader Helen Zille had shocked SA with her decision to throw her hat into the ring.

eNCA reports that three of the candidates, excluding Thomas Walters - who had declined to partake - had committed to a live broadcast of a debate.

However, DA presiding officer of federal council elections, Desiree van der Walt, had poured water on the potential fire.

READ ALSO: Zille: Death of DA will mean the death of South Africa's democracy

Van der Walt had revealed that what she referred to as 'negative' campaign went against DA policy and would not be permitted:

"I wrote to each candidate requesting them to keep their campaigns because we have a code of conduct prior to elections, what is allowed and not allowed in campaigns. So we don't want candidates to go against each other, we do not campaign negatively. It’s in the best interests of the party to keep the campaign internally for a federal council position."

All three candidates expressed their disappointment but had opted to heed the party's instruction.

Trollip had put forward that he is the best candidate for the top job, claiming that Zille's time in politics had come and gone.

Zille, on the other hand, says that she is capable of turning the party around. The former Western Cape premier had gone as far as to say that democracy in South Africa would die along with the party if it came to that.

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