South Africa: DA Manoeuvres - Steenhuisen Frontrunner for Parliamentary Leader As Trollip Remains an NMB Councillor

John Steenhuisen (file photo)
analysis

Some clarity amid the turmoil in the DA has emerged: Former chief whip John Steenhuisen is the frontrunner for parliamentary leader and Athol Trollip remains a councillor, for now, in the Nelson Mandela Bay Metro. But what is certain is the party knows it faces an uphill battle 20 months before the next local government elections in 2021. The pressure is on.

Stepping down as DA chief whip on Thursday morning meant John Steenhuisen returned to the parliamentary backbenches. Immediately. Appointed by ex-DA leader Mmusi Maimane, his stint came to an end when Maimane resigned -- on Twitter -- from Parliament less than 20 hours after resigning as party leader.

But for Steenhuisen, the spell on the backbenches may not be a long one. Daily Maverick is reliably informed he'll stand for the parliamentary leader in elections scheduled for next Tuesday.

A party insider said Steenhuisen was seen as "a stabilising force", an important factor in his being lobbied almost immediately after caucus. But certainty will emerge only by 8pm on Friday when nominations are scheduled to close.

The mood at Thursday's caucus was one of "anger and disbelief", according to the party insider. That's because the timing and manner...

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