DA confident in voting system, expects elective congress to go according to plan

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The party will for the first time elect new leaders through an IT-based voting system and presiding officers said that they were confident that the election would be free and fair.

FILE: Democratic Alliance members during the voting session on policies on at the party’s elective congress 8 April 2018. Picture: EWN

DURBAN – Campaign teams for Democratic Alliance (DA) leadership contenders John Steenhuisen and Mbali Ntuli are ramping up efforts to canvass votes for their candidates.

In less than 24 hours, the party will begin its elective congress where over 2,000 delegates from the DA will elect new leaders.

The congress will be the country’s biggest political event held through a virtual platform.

The party will for the first time elect new leaders through an IT-based voting system and presiding officers said that they were confident that the election would be free and fair.

The DA will on Saturday elect its new federal leader, two deputy federal chairpersons and federal council chairperson.

Newly elected leaders will take the party to next year’s local government elections as they are expected to keep their positions for the next three years.

The DA’s chief presiding officer, Greg Krumbock, said that the party had already tested its voting system and they were confident that tomorrow’s proceedings would go according to plan.

“The voting for leadership positions will be formally opened at 11am on Saturday and will be open for five hours, so no matter what problems delegates might have, there will be enough time for delegates to make alternative arrangements and we are therefore expecting a very high percentage poll for the leadership votes.”

Krumbock said that a flash disk containing the results would be kept in a protected vault overnight and results would be announced on Sunday afternoon to keep the mood of the congress throughout the weekend.

SUPPORT FOR THE CONTENDERS

Analysts familiar with the DA said Steenhuisen was likely to emerge to victorious.

However, party members like MP Haniff Hoosen said Ntuli had a chance.

“If Mbali didn’t think she had a chance, we wouldn’t think she had a chance and would have given up a long time ago. But we haven’t. The campaign team is out there phoning and talking to people, campaigning on social media and engaging with branch delegates because they believe it’s possible.”

But Nicole Graham, the party’s eThekwini caucus leader, said Steenhuisen would bring stability and direction for the party if elected.

“There has been from the start with John a very clear policy platform and that for me is what I believe we need to get back to as the DA. The last couple of years the DA has been all over the show on too many issues.”

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