DA - Democratic Alliance


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Nov 22, 2010
The Democratic Alliance (DA) is a South African political party, the governing party in the Western Cape province, and the official opposition to the ruling African National Congress (ANC). The party traces its roots to the anti-apartheid movement of the 1970s and 1980s, during which time it was known variously as the Progressive Party, the Progressive Reform Party, and the Progressive Federal Party. During this time, the party featured prominent anti-Apartheid activists such as Helen Suzman, Colin Eglin, Harry Schwarz and Frederik van Zyl Slabbert. During the 1990s the party was known as the Democratic Party, but was renamed to the Democratic Alliance, during a short-lived alliance with the New National Party (NNP) in 2000 - the NNP subsequently left to join the ANC. More recently, the party merged with the Independent Democrats, but retained its existing name.

The present leader of the Democratic Alliance is former Cape Town mayor and Premier of the Western Cape Helen Zille, who succeeded Tony Leon in May 2007 and won the title of World Mayor in 2008, opted against moving to the National Assembly, where the party is instead led by Lindiwe Mazibuko.

Mazibuko leads a parliamentary caucus of 77 members—67 in the National Assembly, 10 in the National Council of Provinces—who also make up the Official Opposition Shadow Cabinet. The Democratic Alliance's federal chairperson is Dr. Wilmot James, the chairperson of the party's federal executive is James Selfe and Mmusi Maimane is the DA's national spokesperson. As of July 2010, Makashule Gana is the DA's Youth Leader, and Mbali Ntuli is the DA Youth Chairperson. Jonathan Moakes is the party's CEO.

The DA is broadly centrist, though it has been attributed both centre-left and centre-right policies. The party is a member of Liberal International and the Africa Liberal Network.

Source: Wikipedia