SACP allowing members to openly discuss contesting 2019 elections

The party’s augmented central executive committee meeting ends on Friday in Randburg, after three days of discussions.

FILE: SACP General Secretary Blade Nzimande addressing the YCLSA at its 3rd National Council in Soweto. Picture: Masa Kekana/EWN.

JOHANNESBURG – The South African Communist Party (SACP) says it is exercising democracy within the party by allowing its members to openly discuss the possibility of contesting the 2019 general elections separate from the Tripartite Alliance.

The party’s augmented central executive committee meeting ends on Friday in Randburg after three days of discussions.

There have been growing calls from its branches for it to go it alone in the 2019 polls.

The three-day long meeting is expected to end with a media briefing just after midday on Friday, where resolutions agreed on are expected to be made public.

Key among those resolutions will be whether or not the communist party will contest elections separately and not as part of the African National Congress (ANC)-led alliance.

The party’s spokesman Alex Mashilo says leading up to their 14th congress next year, the party’s leadership is open to different views.

“When that discussion comes like we’ve done, we’ll open space for inner party democracy until a final decision is arrived at.”

The poor showing of the alliance in the August local government elections and subsequent loss of key metros to opposition parties are some of the contributing factors to discussions being held now.

Mashilo says if a decision for the SACP to contest elections separately is taken, they already have a support base to make it work as those voters are already voting in support of the ANC.

(Edited by Leeto M Khoza)