18 May 2014

South Africa: Post-Election Chaos - the DA's Riders On the Storm


The Democratic Alliance seems to be going through a rough post-election period. Instead of focusing on its victories, such as they are, it appears to be riding out a tough growing-up phase, with disputes over who should do what, and why. It's nothing uncommon: parties grow, the stakes rise, disputes get worse.

There will, for the moment, be much sound and fury around the Sunday Times story suggesting that there is real gnashing of teeth in the party over the country's most talked about university student. But the real question is not about that, or whether columnists are playing roles in political fights, but about the future of the party.

This means that in the end, a decision will have to be made about who will represent the party as leader in the National Assembly. Or, as the argument has really been framed, why it should, and must, be Mmusi Maimane. But electing, appointing or anointing Maimane may well be the wrong route. Both for him, and the party.

Under our system, parties often find the weeks after an election almost busier than the weeks before. Instead of focusing outwards, they have to focus inwards, and basically...

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