Opposition parties have come out of their first day of their convention having agreed on a coalition government ahead of next year’s election.
Despite the jostling and heated arguments, the parties managed to make “significant” progress by agreeing there was a need for a coalition of opposition parties to try to topple the ANC and keep the EFF out of the Union Buildings.
This is according to Professor William Gumede, a political expert invited by opposition parties to facilitate the multi-party convention which has been called to galvanise them against the ruling ANC ahead of next year’s general elections.
Hailed as a ‘historic moment’ in the country’s politics, the convention saw leaders of seven opposition parties converge at Emperor’s Palace in Kempton Park for the two-day meeting which ends today.
“They should put their egos aside and think about the bigger picture. What we will need from individual leaders is political maturity,” said Gumede.
Parties participating in the two-day convention are the DA, IFP, FF+, Action SA, Spectrum National Party, United Independent Movement and the Independent South African National Civics Organisation (ISANCO).
The convention is taking place as questions are being asked about the viability of coalition governments in the country. This after municipalities such as Nelson Mandela, Johannesburg and Tshwane, all of which are currently governed by a coalition, encountered major challenges due to squabbles between coalition partners.
However, IFP deputy president, Chief Mzamo Buthelezi who is one of the leaders participating in the convention, said parties at the gathering have demonstrated a willingness ‘to put the country first’.
Gumede announced that the convention had agreed to rename the initiative previously called the Moonshot Pact to Multiparty Charter for South Africa.
Gumede said the parties had also agreed that to mount a serious challenge to the ANC, invitations had to be extended to other opposition parties including the Patriotic Alliance.
“The parties agreed to broaden the number of parties in the agreement. The political parties resolved to extend invitations to all political parties in South Africa that subscribe to our vision, priorities of government, set governing principles and a prerequisite to unseat the ANC and keep the EFF out.
“All parties that subscribe and act according to these principles are requested to come forward and engage in talks to join the Multiparty Charter for South Africa.”