- Ramaphosa rejects Zuma's deal that the losing candidate becomes the deputy president
- He claims that this would undermine the democratic process of the conference
- This year's conference is proving to the most divisive in ANC history
ANC Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa has dismissed Jacob Zuma's plan for the losing presidential candidate to become the deputy president of the ANC.
Zuma introduced the concept in a bit to unify the party in what is becoming an increasingly divisive elective conference.
Ramaphosa is the leading candidate after he received the majority of nominations from the ANC branches.
A fierce battle for the hearts and minds of delegates has erupted and has gained intensity as the conference draws closer. Various groups are lobbying for support for their preferred candidate with Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma and Rampahosa's factions at the forefront.
One of the targets for these groups is to win over a chunk of the 353 member strong 'unity' group from Mpumalanga which makes up almost half the provinces delegates.
Zuma had introduced the idea of the losing candidate becoming the deputy president at the ANC's policy conference in July. Ramaphosa has revealed that the concept had not really gained 'traction' and the 3700 conference delegates were not impressed.
Ramaphosa has said that the branches should ultimately decide who the deputy president would be and by circumventing them by automatically making the losing candidate deputy would jeopardise the democratic process of the elective conference.
The divisive nature of this year's conference threatens to derail the event which would disastrous for the ANC. A new idea is being floated which aims to avoid contesting the conference altogether.
How the preferred candidate would be chosen has not yet been determined if this idea is implemented. The ANC is weary of making the wrong decision because the candidate elected president of the ANC could determine whether the party retains power after the 2019 general elections.
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