- The ANC elective conference relies on the integrity of the voting delegates
- The process is open to manipulation and vote buying
- The new president of the ANC will be announced on 20 December 2017
The ANC elective conference is organised and run by the Elexions Agency, and has been described as being straightforward.
The voting is done by the delegates and this is where the rubber meets the road at the elective conference, and in principle, the idea is simple but is actually quite intricate.
Each of the 5,240 delegates is eligible to vote, these delegates are not bound by their branches choice of candidate and since the voting is done in secret there is the risk of manipulation. ANC officials are concerned and have already warned its members about vote-buying.
Delegates may vote for someone other than their branches preferred candidate but may be influenced to vote for another presidential hopeful.
The first day of the conference will establish and adopt the rules for the proceedings as well as check the integrity of credentials of the delegates. Jacob Zuma will also present his final report as outgoing president.
Trevor Manuel has raised his concerns over the conference collapsing due to irregularities with the delegates credentials. This is a sensitive part of the conference and establishes who is entitled to be at the conference and who is not.
Gwede Mantashe as secretary-general will present his organisational report as well as a financial report.
Voting takes places on days two, three and four, after constitutional changes within the ANC are discusses. This could enlarge the top-six structure to nine members, the national executive committee will be decided on the last day.
A constitutional change that is going to be discussed is the fate of the losing candidate and whether or not he or she will become deputy president.
90% of the votes will come from the branch delegates, the party's leagues, provincial committees and the national executive committee will make up the balance.
The ANC constitution makes no mention of what would happen if the conference collapses, as of today the conference is still scheduled to go ahead as planned.
On 20 December 2017, the ANC's new president will be decided for the better or worse of the party and the country at large.
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