Mike Moriarty raises his hand to challenge Helen Zille for her position

Moriarty says 'the chairperson should bring stability, not controversy'

25 June 2020 - 17:30 By APHIWE DEKLERK
DA federal council chair Helen Zille.
DA federal council chair Helen Zille.
Image: Alaister Russell

Gauteng DA chairperson Mike Moriarty will challenge Helen Zille for the position of the party's chairperson of the federal council.

Moriarty on Thursday sent out an internal letter formally asking for his colleagues to support his candidacy. The Sunday Times previously reported that Moriarty was considering standing against Zille but had not made a decision at the time.

His letter comes amid controversy in the party caused by Zille's Twitter post claiming  the current government had more racist laws than there were during apartheid.

In the letter, Moriarty took a veiled swipe at Zille, saying: “The chairperson should bring stability, not controversy.”

“The position of chairperson of the federal council is a role that requires a pragmatist. The incumbent must support the party leader, and the party as a whole, to reach its objectives.

“This implies that the chairperson should co-ordinate the party structures strategically, oversee party operations and ensure accountability [and] lead a federal council that will edify the entire organisation in such a way that will ensure spirited and unified effort from every person in every structure in every province,” said Moriarty.

The DA is to elect new leaders at a virtual national conference scheduled for October. The chairperson of the federal council is elected by the federal council immediately after the national congress.

So far, Moriarty is the only candidate to put up his hand to challenge Zille for the position which she took over late last year.

Currently the hotly contested position is that of party leader, John Steenhuisen, who is facing a strong challenge from Gauteng leader John Moodey and KwaZulu-Natal member of the legislature Mbali Ntuli.


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