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ANC moots changes in electing party officials

By unknown | Jun 28, 2007 | COMMENTS [ 0 ]

Ido Lekota

Ido Lekota

Members of the ANC have come up with proposals that could see the party's national executive committee being involved in the appointment of ministers and the reshuffling of the cabinet.

This is a departure from the current situation where the president of the country appoints ministers and also decides when and how to reshuffle the cabinet. Normally, the president does consult a few trusted individuals about his choices.

Also expected to change is the manner in which premiers, members of the executive council and mayors are appointed. Also included in the proposals is how the ANC should select its preferred candidate for the country's presidency after Mbeki's departure in 2009.

These proposals are to be discussed at the four-day ANC policy conference which started yesterday at Gallagher Estate in Midrand.

Most of the proposals, if approved by the policy conference and are then endorsed at the ANC's national congress in December, would see more participation by the party's various structures in the deployment of its cadres.

On the other hand, the proposals on how to identify a preferred candidate for the country's presidency would also go a long way to addressing the succession debate.

One of the proposals is that the party's candidate for the country's presidency should be elected at the elective conference in December. In terms of the proposal, the conference elects the national leadership of the party, including its president, and then elects the preferred candidate for the country's presidency in 2009.

The proposal has the effect of dealing with the two centres of power debate that has brought divisions within the ANC and the broader congress movement. The proposal could also go a long way in addressing the concerns of the factions involved.

On the one hand it grants ANC deputy president Jacob Zuma the opportunity to be elected both the president of the party and to come out as the preferred candidate for the country's presidency. Such a situation would satisfy Zuma's supporters, including the ANC Youth League, the Congress of South African Trade Unions, the South African Communist Party and its youth wing, the Young Communist League.

On the other hand, the proposal also grants Mbeki an opportunity to be elected ANC president, with any of the other possible candidates, including Zuma, mining mogul Tokyo Sexwale, Foreign Affairs Minister Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma, former Mpumalanga premier Mathews Phosa, businessman Cyril Ramaphosa and general secretary Kgalema Motlanthe standing a chance to become the president of the country.

The second proposal in this regard is that the person elected ANC president in December should be the preferred candidate for the country's presidency.

This is the position favoured by Zuma's supporters.


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