FF Plus eyes coalitions with other opposition parties

2016-07-19 17:49

Cape Town – The FF Plus is ready to govern in coalitions with other opposition parties after the municipal elections in order to "defeat the ANC and EFF", party leader Pieter Mulder said on Tuesday.

"People don't really understand the party system. The party with the most votes will not [always] govern," he told journalists in Cape Town.

He said that parties such as the Democratic Alliance (DA) would need the Freedom Front Plus to jointly reach a 51% majority in some areas.

James Selfe, the DA's federal executive and council chairperson, responded that party leader Mmusi Maimane had clearly set out the official stance on coalitions.

"At this stage of the game, we are seeking an outright majority in the municipalities we are contesting," Selfe said on Tuesday.

Last month, Maimane compared coalitions to a football match: "I always say to people, [coalitions] are just like at a football match, the matter of penalty shootouts, there is always the possibility of a shootout. But you don't go in there and debate penalty shootouts, you go in there to win." Maimane was speaking to a packed audience at the Daily Maverick's The Gathering in Midrand.

Mulder predicted that there would be considerably more than the 36 coalition governments in 2011, because people were disillusioned with parties.

The FF Plus would choose coalition partners based on what was in the best interest of their voters.

More candidates in more wards

"The way the EFF has put their case, I don't think they can help us with our mandate."

The party had instructed its candidates not to pick unnecessary fights with opposition parties that are potential coalition partners.

The FF Plus had five times the candidates they had in 2011 and were contesting double the wards, Mulder said.

A confident Mulder said the FF Plus had been inundated the last few months with queries from voters about their candidates.

They developed a web platform, www.whoismycandidate.co.za or www.wieismykandidaat.co.za so voters could look this information up.

On Tuesday, they also officially launched a free mobile app for Android users that provides details on candidates and the party.

Mulder said there was a lot of activity on its Facebook and Twitter feeds.

"From our experience, this election will be the first one where the influence of social media will be seen."