UDM NEC RESOLVES TO HOLD NATIONAL CONVENTION - media statement issued by the President of the UDM (28 JANUARY 2008)

During the UDM National Executive Committee (NEC) meeting over the weekend, we deliberated on the state of the nation and the NEC resolved to establish a small committee of UDM leadership. Their aim will be to engage other stakeholders to determine whether the time has not arrived to hold a National Convention to review the progress made since the advent of democracy, and whether the country is still on the right course.

We decided that we should facilitate this Convention and open it to all people, irrespective of party affiliation or ideology. It will be an open non-partisan opportunity for people to contribute to critical national debates. We would be blindfolding ourselves if we don't recognise that our hard-fought democracy is under threat. Can we say that the resources of the country are distributed fairly to the betterment of all? There is an arrogance of power at government institutions; people speak but those in power don't listen. People have spoken on unemployment, on crime, and now the Scorpions, but the people are ignored.

The UDM identified that there is an urgent need for a national debate and consensus on several matters, such as:
The economy
Crime and corruption
Threats to the judiciary
The lack of service delivery which has been occasioned in many areas by infighting in the ruling party. How long must the nation wait for this disease in the ruling party to heal itself, if ever?
The role of the SABC
The de-politicisation of the Chapter 9 institutions (such as Public Protector, IEC etc.) and the civil service in general
The electoral system - more accountability by introducing constituencies, empowering the voters to directly elect the President, as opposed to the factionalism seen in the ruling party, which will mean that not even the entire ruling party supports the person that will become President of the country. Improving the effectiveness of Parliament.
Social cohesion - racism, tribalism and xenophobia.

The UDM felt that there was a need to go to the wider public, and as party we will act as facilitators, to see what should be our compass bearing from now into future, which would lead to the betterment of all South Africans. It is that Convention, not the UDM, which should map a way forward on how these matters should be addressed.

Any person who wishes to contact us and make inputs on this matter can email info@udm.org.za or fax 012-321-0014. A detailed motivation on this proposal will be available on our website on the morning of 31 January 2008.

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