ANC to set up in­ter­nal elec­toral com­mis­sion

CityPress - - News - S’THEMBILE CELE and SETUMO STONE news@city­press.co.za

The ANC is look­ing at set­ting up an in­ter­nal elec­toral com­mis­sion to en­sure that the party trans­par­ently selects the best pub­lic of­fi­cials.

This ob­jec­tive is out­lined in the party’s “leg­is­la­ture and gov­er­nance” pol­icy dis­cus­sion doc­u­ments, com­ing ahead of its pol­icy con­fer­ence, which will take place in June.

The pro­posal to make the se­lec­tion pro­cesses more trans­par­ent comes on the back of “list wars” that played out ahead of the lo­cal govern­ment polls last year.

The party was ac­cused of ma­nip­u­lat­ing the pro­cesses to put cer­tain names ahead of oth­ers. Dis­grun­tled can­di­dates and their sup­port­ers then took their protest to Luthuli House, while oth­ers reg­is­tered as in­de­pen­dent can­di­dates. A se­ries of al­leged po­lit­i­cal killings also dogged the weeks that fol­lowed the an­nounce­ment of suc­cess­ful can­di­dates.

“The pri­mary pur­pose of the com­mis­sion will be to en­sure the ANC­elected pub­lic rep­re­sen­ta­tives un­dergo a trans­par­ent se­lec­tion and ca­pac­i­ta­tion process to as­sume lead­er­ship and de­ploy­ment,” the doc­u­ments say.

“A pol­icy pa­per must be de­vel­oped, de­tail­ing the ap­point­ment and com­po­si­tion and the core man­date and task of the com­mis­sion.

“The ac­count­abil­ity of the com­mis­sion must also be re­flected in the pol­icy pa­per. This task must be com­pleted be­fore the na­tional con­fer­ence of 2017.”

Gripes with the party’s se­lec­tion pro­cesses are not the only headache of the gov­ern­ing party. The DA is now hot on its heels in Gaut­eng, where the party will aim to win the prov­ince – the eco­nomic pow­er­house of the coun­try.

The doc­u­ment al­ludes to the pos­si­bil­ity of a fa­tal blow at the polls come 2019. Na­tional elec­toral sup­port has dipped to just above 50% and mu­nic­i­pal­i­ties that were long-stand­ing ANC strongholds were lost to the op­po­si­tion dur­ing the lo­cal govern­ment elec­tions in Au­gust last year.

These in­clude the ma­jor ur­ban ar­eas of Jo­han­nes­burg, Tsh­wane, Nel­son Man­dela Bay and Mo­gale City.

“There is no room for com­pla­cency. If fur­ther ero­sion of ur­ban sup­port takes place, com­bined with con­tin­ued de­clines in turnout, even by only a few per­cent­age points, then the 2019 elec­tions could pose a se­ri­ous chal­lenge for the ANC in terms of elec­toral sup­port.

“The sig­nif­i­cance of Gaut­eng is that it gen­er­ated more votes for the ANC than the Western Cape, North­ern Cape and North West com­bined.”

In the race to re­gain lost ground ahead of 2019, elec­tion­eer­ing is also flagged as be­ing in need of se­ri­ous im­prove­ment.

“The ANC must pro­fes­sion­alise its ca­pac­ity to fight and win elec­tions and cre­ate a ded­i­cated, full-time po­lit­i­cal and tech­ni­cal ca­pac­ity that un­der­takes on­go­ing mass-me­dia mo­bil­i­sa­tion, reg­u­lar polling and tech­niques of modern mul­ti­party elec­tion­eer­ing, such as pro­jec­tion of key lead­er­ship per­son­al­i­ties,” the pol­icy dis­cus­sion doc­u­ment says.

Mean­while, the dis­cus­sion doc­u­ment on strat­egy and tac­tics gives a frank as­sess­ment of fac­tors weak­en­ing the party.

These in­clude in­ter­nal squab­bles, cor­rup­tion, poor per­for­mance and the loss of sup­port from “pro­gres­sive for­ma­tions and in­di­vid­u­als who his­tor­i­cally have been part of the broad front of forces for change”.

Last year, veter­ans of the move­ment, in­clud­ing Rev­erend Frank Chikane, Frene Gin­wala and Ahmed Kathrada, came out strongly against the cur­rent state of the ANC.

The veter­ans have been calling for a con­sul­ta­tive con­fer­ence ahead of the pol­icy con­fer­ence to iron out mat­ters be­fore the na­tional con­fer­ence takes place in De­cem­ber.

The pol­icy con­fer­ence is the battleground ahead of the elec­tive con­fer­ence.

Group­ings that make gains there have the up­per hand go­ing into the De­cem­ber con­fer­ence, where Pres­i­dent Ja­cob Zuma’s suc­ces­sor will be given the nod.

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