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No dirty campaigning, DA federal council chair candidates warned

The country’s second-biggest party will choose a new chairperson of its federal council in Johannesburg on 20 October, to replace the long-standing incumbent, veteran MP James Selfe.

FILE: Helen Zille on the election campaign trail for the DA ahead of the 2019 general elections. Picture: EWN

CAPE TOWN - As the race for one of the most powerful positions in the Democratic Alliance (DA) heats up, all four candidates have been warned to abide by the party's code of conduct when it comes to campaigning.

The country’s second-biggest party will choose a new chairperson of its federal council in Johannesburg on 20 October, to replace the long-standing incumbent, veteran MP James Selfe.

The contest has cast a spotlight on underlying tensions within the DA, with party leader Mmusi Maimane claiming he’s the victim of a smear campaign aimed at discrediting his ability to lead after the party’s losses at the polls in last year’s elections.

The federal council is the DA’s highest decision-making body of the party between congresses and the position of chairperson is a powerful one.

Desiree van der Walt is the presiding officer in charge of the party’s elections set down for later this month.

Former Nelson Mandela Bay Mayor Athol Trollip is up against MPs Thomas Walters and Mike Waters and former Western Cape Premier Helen Zille.

“All four have been duly nominated, seconded, signed their declarations and have been vetted by myself as eligible to stand as candidates and they have received a draft voters’ roll in the meantime, so they are busy with their campaigns.”

Van der Walt said that the voters roll contained the names of around 150 or so delegates who would be voting on 20 October.

She said that she expected the candidates to heed the party’s code of conduct on campaigning.

“You can go out there and campaign on all your strengths and how you would run this position if you are elected and it prohibits you from negative campaigning against a colleague."