Bloemfontein - Cope said on Sunday that they were ready for the 2016 local government elections. This after the executive committee met with its provincial committee and public representative in Bloemfontein in the Free State. According to spokesperson Dennis Bloem, the meeting was to get a report from the Free State leadership on the party's readiness for the upcoming local government elections. “Cope goes into the 2016 elections as a united force. Many who boycotted us in the 2011 elections are back and campaigning vigorously for Cope to increase its presence in all municipal councils,” he said. Bloem said, in 2011, the party had 29 councillors after the local government elections – and said, this year, they hoped to have more councillors. “We could have done better had it not been for division and infighting at the time,” he said. Bloem said during the meeting, Cope members in the province raised concerns and complained that Premier Ace Magashule was openly favouring the people of Parys, his hometown. “Another grievance related to the sorry state of affairs in the Health Department in the province. Professional and ordinary workers in the health department were bemoaning the total collapse in this department. The department itself needed to be in the Intensive Care Unit,” he said. Bloem added that during the elections, provincial leaders would ensure that volunteers and party agents were properly empowered. He said they would also increase their visibility in all the voting stations.