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DA elective conference an opportunity for party to stabilise, reboot – Analysts

In a historic move, the DA will hold a virtual conference this weekend to elect its new leadership – a year after Mmusi Maimane quit as both leader and member of the party.

Democratic Alliance (DA) interim leader John Steenhuisen pictured on 9 January 2019 during a press briefing. Picture: Sethembiso Zulu/EWN

JOHANNESBURG - Analysts on Monday said the coming weekend’s Democratic Alliance (DA) elective conference would be an opportunity for the party to reboot after years of infighting and a decline at the polls.

Independent analyst Ralph Mathekga and Director of Political Futures Consulting, Daniel Silke, said the conference was a chance to stabilise the DA and make up for lost ground.

In a historic move, the DA will hold a virtual conference this weekend to elect its new leadership – a year after Mmusi Maimane quit as both leader and member of the party.

The DA, which has bounced from one scandal to another in recent years, simply cannot afford anymore troubles - this is the view of at least two analysts who say the upcoming conference is crucial.

Silke said how the DA packaged its policies would be a “make or break” factor - as this would determine how much of a buy-in it would get from voters.

He said there was also a need for a proper coming together of factions, adding that it may have to follow the African National Congress’s unity project as an example.

“The party really can’t afford another round of resignations or public spats.”

Mathekga raised concerns over the far-right posture, which he said those at the helm of the party seemed to be pursuing.

He said this weekend’s conference would show a clearer picture of the trajectory the DA wanted to go in.

Mathekga has also discounted many leaders leaving the party - saying politicians are realistic and not all are willing to go into the unknown.

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