South Africa
DA will not leave Parliament

The Democratic Alliance (DA) says it will not be in the party’s interest to pull out of Parliament. This is after Economic Freedom Fighters’ (EFF) leader Julius Malema told the SABC that his party is in talks with the DA on the possibility of resigning from Parliament in the near future in order to force fresh elections.

The move is in light of the Constitutional Court judgment which found that the National Assembly had failed in its duty to hold the executive accountable.

Malema says, “I went to the leader of the DA and said to the leader that if we combine the EFF numbers and the DA numbers and we resign from Parliament, that thing is no longer a properly constituted Parliament.

But that strategy will still come. We are still weighing our options. If Parliament doesn’t reach its quorum then we can approach the Constitutional Court to go and instruct the speaker to dissolve Parliament.”

The DA says this announcement by Malema is overrated. DA federal chairperson, James Selfe, says the issue has not been formally raised in the party.

“Mr Malema mentioned this in passing to Mr Maimane towards the end of last year but there have been no serious talks between our two organizations on the topic.”

On whether the DA considers such a discussion, Selfe says, “Absolutely not, we were elected to Parliament to serve the interests of the DA voters and we will continue to do that.

There may be many wrong things in Parliament but we need to fight from within and withdrawing from Parliament is not a feasible option.”

Meanwhile, constitutional law expert Pierre de Vos says withdrawing from Parliament will not help opposition parties in any way. He says the African National Congress (ANC), with its current majority, will still be able to run the affairs of Parliament.

“In terms of the Constitution to seat and consider matters and have discussions, you have to have a third of members of the National Assembly present and to pass the legislation, you must have 50% of members present.

The ANC currently has about 62% of members in the National Assembly and provided that not too many of them are absent, they will be able to master the quorum to do all business of Parliament.”

Source: SABC News

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