DA leader Mmusi Maimane has declined the request for him to stand as the party’s candidate for premier of the Western Cape.
In a statement following a meeting of the DA’s federal executive, the party said that it considered the nomination, but together with Maimane decided that his attention best be focused elsewhere.
“This was a request that required careful consideration and consultation with the relevant party structures which made the initial request to him.”
Maimane’s decline follows weekend reports that said the party leader had in fact nominated himself for the position, which came as a shock to other leaders in the party.
The move was seen as a concession by the DA that it was not making the necessary inroads to topple ANC governances in hotly contested provinces like Gauteng and Northern Cape, and perhaps even pointed to a weakening position in the Western Cape.
According to the DA, Maimane’s decision not to stand for Western Cape premier was based on him having a different number one priority – that the party stands behind his commitment to build a better South Africa and stronger DA.
The party said its federal executive will meet again on Tuesday (18 September) to determine who will be selected as the DA candidate for premier of the Western Cape.