Final decision on names of MPs

By Political Bureau

With post-election celebrations behind them and with just over a week to go before the first sitting of parliament and provincial legislatures, party leaders have been hard at work to fine-tune their machinery for these institutions.

The final lists of candidates with seats in parliament and the provincial legislatures would appear in the Government Gazette on Wednesday.

Except for eliminating duplications, such as ID leader Patricia de Lille appearing first on both the party's national and Western Cape lists, the parties were allowed no further amendments.

This means ANC candidates such as deputy defence minister Fezile Bhengu and deputy education minister Andre Gaum, who are placed low down on the ANC list for the National Assembly, are unlikely to return for now.

The party must now also decide who its premiers are going to be.

At the ANC's 2007 Polokwane conference, delegates resolved that instead of the president appointing premiers, as happened under former president Thabo Mbeki, provincial ANC structures would be allowed to submit three names to the national executive for a final decision.

DA chief executive Ryan Coetzee said party leaders had been discussing its leaders for the Western Cape and Cape Town.

DA leader Helen Zille's term as mayor will expire when the Government Gazette carrying her name as the new premier of the Western Cape is published.

COPE's congress working committee was due to meet on Tuesday to debate its list issues, including where party leader Mosiuoa Lekota would be deployed.

He has previously indicated he would remain at Congress House to oversee the building of the party.

Meanwhile, Dandala and COPE first deputy president Mbhazima Shilowa are heading for the National Assembly.

Phillip Dexter, at first position on the party's Western Cape list, will also return, having first served in parliament as an ANC MP.

Former Cosatu boss Willie Madisha is also likely to become an MP.

The Inkatha Freedom Party will again deploy 80-year-old leader Mangosuthu Buthelezi for his fourth term.

IFP secretary-general Musa Zondi said half the 18 seats that the party won nationally would be filled from its national list, while the other nine would come from the top of its regional lists.

There will be a range of new faces in Parliament, including Zondi, along with veterans such as MPs Koos van der Merwe, Albert Mncwango and Ben Skosana.

Among the new faces will be Mario Oriani-Ambrosini, who served as Buthelezi's special adviser during his controversial term as minister of home affairs.

De Lille is likely to return to Parliament for the ID along with three others.

African Christian Democratic Party leader Kenneth Meshoe said the three seats it won would be filled by himself and party stalwarts Steve Swart and Cherillyn Dudley.

The Minority Front's long-time deployed Sunklavathy Rajbally will not return.

The MF's list is topped by party leader Amichand Rajbansi, who wants to stay on in the KwaZulu-Natal legislature. Roy Bhoola is likely to be deployed to the National Assembly.

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