Maimane and Malema already vying for title of prince of opposition politics

During his speech on Tuesday, Democratic Alliance (DA) leader, Mmusi Maimane said his party is ready to negotiate with any political party about forming a coalition to take power from the African National Congress (ANC) in the 2019 elections.

Political analyst, Aubrey Matshiqi says Maimane is not the first to openly discuss the possibility of a merger or coalition.

Julius Malema, speaking on the assumption that the ANC will lose power in 2019, recommended a merger between the EFF and the ANC.

Aubrey Matshiqi, Political analyst

Matshiqi explains that it is important to distinguish between a pre-election pact and a post election coalition arrangement.

The configuration of a post election coalition will be determined by an electoral outcome, he adds. This may be easier for political parties who have avoided making prior promises of who or who not to go into a coalition with.

Matshiqi says in the case of a pre-election pact, political parties will have to agree on a common set of principles and values that will determine the content of their policy platforms going into the elections.

Such an arrangement may unravel if the outcome of the election goes against the assumption the different parties made.

Aubrey Matshiqi, Political analyst

There already is a battle between Maimane and Malema about who is the pre-eminent political figure in opposition politics.

Aubrey Matshiqi, Political analyst

Matshiqi goes on to say that both Maimane and Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) leader, Julius Malema, think they are going to shape the future of South African politics.

He does not foresee the ANC and EFF willingly forming a coalition with the DA unless forced to by the results of the elections.

The ANC has a bigger problem. There is no guarantee that the ANC will win power in 2019 especially if the faction that supports President Jacob Zuma wins the day.

Aubrey Matshiqi, Political analyst

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