‘Time for public to help select ANC MPs’
THE ANC wants ordinary South Africans to help select ruling party candidates for national, provincial and municipal legislatures, and says its own MPs must ask their cabinet colleagues tough questions.
The party admits that some of its candidates have cost them dearly, because they were not popular in the communities.
These proposals were contained in a paper presented by ANC secretary-general Gwede Mantashe at the ANC national executive committee lekgotla – an expanded meeting – last weekend.
Mantashe said the party also needed to look into involving non-members of the ANC in selecting ruling party candidates for Parliament and provincial legislatures, adding that this should be experimented with during next year’s municipal polls.
Currently, delegated party members – including the ANC – nominate candidates for legislative lists, and party conferences are held to select the best candidates.
In general elections, voters vote only for parties. The latter select candidates for Parliament and provincial legislatures. But Mantashe suggested that this should be changed.
“The 52nd national conferences instructed the current NEC to strengthen the guidelines and processes of selecting public representatives … We must however develop a comprehensive framework for involving broader society in the selection of ANC candidates. This can be implemented in the run-up to the 2011 local government elections.
Deputy President Kgalema Motlanthe has previously warned the ANC against fielding inappropriate candidates, citing a by-election in Tembisa in which an ANC candidate lost to Cope because the ruling party candidate was not popular.
Meanwhile, Mantashe also challenged ANC MPs not to ask sweetheart questions in Parliament.
“Difficult questions to ministers and MECs should in the main, come from the ANC benches with the intention of helping ANC deployees perform better.
“The attitude that it is a sellout position for ANC public representatives to raise these questions is dangerous to our movement,” Mantashe said.
“Every chance to communicate with our people must be used optimally,” he said.