Home South African Cope vows to bounce back after its dismal election results

Cope vows to bounce back after its dismal election results

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The Congress of the People (Cope), led by Mosiuoa Lekota, has promised to return bigger and better after the party’s dismal showing at the 2024 national and provincial elections.

Cope leader Mosiuoa Lekota. Picture: Itumeleng English, Independent Newspapers

THE CONGRESS of the People (Cope), led by Mosiuoa Lekota, has promised to return bigger and better after the party’s dismal showing at the 2024 national and provincial elections.

The party, which was established amid political fanfare in 2008 after the Polokwane Elective Conference in December 2007, which had resolved to remove President Thabo Mbeki from office, recently took a two-day sabbatical to reflect on the outcome of the recent elections.

Cope, another ANC splinter group, failed to get a single seat in the National Assembly after garnering only 30,968 votes nationally.

The party has been on the decline ever since making progress in the 2009 general elections, where it received 7.42% of the vote, which entitled it to 30 seats in the National Assembly.

Since then, it has been in a downward spiral and the 2024 elections were no different.

However, after a workshop in Bloemfontein on June 15 and 16, the party has resolved to return to its former glory and promised to do better next time.

Cope acting national general secretary Erick Mohlapamaswi said the workshop was a reflection and introspection of what had transpired during the elections and the way forward for the party.

Mohlapamaswi said Cope’s outcome had been a collective failure.

“Comrades have agreed that it was a collective failure which led to the poor performance, and above all, the lack of financial resources which stifled the implementation of our elections campaign strategy. Unlike other parties, Cope had donors and funders but relied mainly on an IEC (Electoral Commission of South Africa) grant, which was made available just days before the elections.”

Mohlapamaswi said the workshop shed light on what the party needed to change in order for it to reclaim its position.

“Irrespective of the setbacks, the comrades are encouraged to soldier on and build with the Cope brand. The recommendations on the next course of action have been made to ensure we come back stronger in the coming local election in two years.”

He said experts had been invited to the workshop to bring external insights. They helped the party analyse the election outcomes and shared their recommendations for consideration by the Congress National Committee.

“We want to reassure all the voters who voted for Cope that all is not lost, and we thank them for their votes. We promise them that Cope will strongly come back, and we will continue to be the voice of the voiceless and South Africans at large. Cope will continue to play the watchdog role to the current government to ensure that the people’s interests are served,” he said.

“We will get on course and bounce back. We appeal for the communities to continue to rally behind Cope. Our public representative will be more visible on the ground to fight for the rights of our communities.

“The preparations for the next local government elections have started. Cope drew lessons from past mistakes and mitigating plans are in place. In due course, we will outline our programme of action based on the recommendations from the workshop.”

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