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Cape Town - About 22 percent of the DA’s 362 branches in the Western Cape will decide on the party’s candidates for the general elections next year.
The DA’s Western Cape director, Han-marie Marshall-van Zyl said the 80-member provincial electoral college would narrow the candidates on the list down from 255 to fewer than 100 for Parliament and the provincial legislature. It is to meet over the next four weeks in Stellenbosch.
She said the party used “two complex calculations” to select its college members based on the amount of support the DA had in the area in which a branch was located.
Sixty-four members of the college represent branches that won the most votes in the 2011 local government elections, and the rest are from branches in growth areas.
Marshall-van Zyl said a branch had to have at least 25 members to qualify to be represented in the electoral college.
Half of the college’s members are from Cape Town, and the rest from the West Coast, Southern Cape, Boland and Karoo.
The college members will vote for 50 candidates for Parliament and 50 for the legislature. Hopefuls will have only three minutes to impress the college and two questions will be asked. Candidates will also have to sit an exam testing their general knowledge and knowledge of the party and its policies.
DA leader Helen Zille is the only MPL automatically on the list, as she said in July she would run again for premier.
Other MPLs were evaluated last week for their performance over the past five years.
The DA and Zille were criticised by other political parties in 2009 when most of the DA’s Western Cape MPLs were male. Seventeen men and five women, including Zille, represent the DA in the legislature.
The Cape Times understands 34 councillors from Cape Town were also evaluated after being nominated.
Marshall-van Zyl said candidates on the lists would be ranked according to their expertise and experience by a panel in November.
The panel will be made up of politicians and outside experts. The lists will go to the DA’s provincial executive council, who may change 10 percent based on gender, race and expertise. The national federal executive committee will decide on the final list.