Home South African Mbeki expresses concerns about the number of parties contesting election

Mbeki expresses concerns about the number of parties contesting election

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He said the diversity in the voting however should not be suppressed.

Former president Thabo Mbeki has questioned the value of the more than 50 parties set to contest the national elections on Wednesday.

FORMER president Thabo Mbeki has questioned the value of the more than 50 parties set to contest the national elections on Wednesday.

Mbeki said that ideally, a political party should represent something.

Asked during a television interview whether the more 50 parties that will contest the elections was an indication of a democracy that is maturing, Mbeki said: “I would not go that far. The political party in principle represents something. I don’t know what 52 different parties in South Africa represent that differ from one another, but of course it is the democratic right of any of us to form a party, run for election and all that.

“But I do not think that the number 52 means the expansion and the entrenchment of democracy.

“It is something to look at carefully because in some instances it might have nothing to do with all of this, but about other interests that drive people to set up political parties.

“But you do not have 52 different perspectives about the future of South Africa, but nevertheless people do have the right to form their own parties.

“I think there should be a cut-off point to say whoever is allowed to get a seat must get a minimum number of votes, otherwise you could have a field day where everyone, not for really good reason, will just stand.”

He said the diversity in the voting however should not be suppressed.

The Mercury

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