A total of 155 DA members will gather at its Johannesburg headquarters at the weekend to deliberate on a panel review report on the state of the party as well as to elect a new federal council chairperson.
The delegates will be made up of premiers, MECs, mayors, members of the different mayoral committees in the country as well as all national and provincial spokespersons.
According to the party’s presiding officer of federal council elections Desiree Van Der Walt, these are the only two items on the agenda.
Four candidates, namely; former leader Helen Zille, current federal chairperson Athol Trollip along with Members of Parliament Mike Waters and Thomas Walters will address the federal council at the end of Saturday’s session to convince delegates to support their respective bids to replace James Selfe, who held the position of federal council chair for almost two decades.
“Each candidate will have an opportunity to address the FedCo for 5 minutes and motivate why they believe they are the best person to occupy the office of the federal council chairperson,” said Van Der Walt at a technical media briefing ahead of this weekend’s meeting.
The four, who already appear on the ballot papers printed earlier this week, also have an opportunity to withdraw from the race at any point before voting takes place on Sunday morning, which will be announced to delegates.
In a process similar to casting votes in the general elections, the DA’s closed elections for federal chairperson will follow regulations set by the Electoral Commission of SA (IEC) with voting taking place from 07:00 to 08:45.
Van Der Walt said delegates would be expected to provide their identification documents to get the ballot paper and vote.
In the actual voting, delegates would have to rank the leaders from the most to the least preferred.
“Once the votes have been counted and captured the presiding officer will announce the results which are expected at around midday on Sunday,” said Van Der Walt.
While the four have been campaigning for the crucial role, likened to that of political CEO of the country’s second largest party, Van Der Walt has instructed them to do so internally, this resulted in a planned news television debate being canned.