Cope formation changed political landscape: De Lille

Friday, April 24, 2009

Pretoria - Independent Democrats (ID) leader Patricia de Lille says the formation of Cope has influenced the political landscape in the country.

"The emergence of Cope has had a huge influence in the decline of ID votes in the Western Cape and nationally and it has dramatically changed the South African political scenario," Ms De Lille told BuaNews on Friday.

Results streaming in a the Independent Electoral Commission's results centre indicate that the ID was taking a knock and losing votes, particularly in its perceived strong-hold of the Western Cape.

Nationally the ID has 1 22 725 votes compared to the Democratic Alliance (DA) with 2 125 144 which is followed by Cope with 1 03 3550 votes. The ANC is still in the lead nationally with over 9 million votes.

In the Western Cape, the ID has managed to get 69 839 votes compared to the DA which leads with 654 152 votes, followed by the ANC with 402 311 votes. The new kid on the block, Cope has managed to get more votes than the ID with 98 929.

The ID leader said her organisation will continue to influence South Africa's political panorama and will work with other parties in building the country's democracy.

She said her party was open to forming coalitions with other parties that share almost similar values to her organisation.

"I think this is the time for political parties who share the same values to merge in a bid to move forward the South African democracy."

"Possible parties that we are considering merging with could be organisations that have Africanist values in their policies, parties such as United Democratic Movement (UDM) or Congress of the People (Cope)," Ms De Lille said.

The prominent Member of Parliament said with 15 years of democracy in South Africa, it was time that political parties worked together in developing the country and "not waste time in criticising each other."

She told BuaNews that she has not yet engaged with any party but she was considering meeting with a few party leaders.

Political analyst, Professor David Moore of the University of Johannesburg told BuaNews that it was possible for the ID to consolidate with the UDM since they have almost similar manifestos; however he was uncertain that Cope will agree with Ms De Lille.

"However it will be interesting to see these political organisations combining their ideas," he said, adding that it will reveal the maturity of South Africa's democracy.

Professor Moore affirmed that the merging of opposition parties will have an effective influence in the country's political landscape, adding that it will be good for political parties to have a clear ideological alternative.