New National Party (South Africa)

From Academic Kids

Template:Politics of South Africa The New National Party (NNP) was a South African conservative political party formed when the National Party pulled out of the Government of National Unity with the African National Congress and decided to change its name in the process. The name change was an attempt to distance itself from its apartheid past, and reinvent itself as a moderate, non-racial federal party. The attempt was unsuccessful and the New National Party voted to disband itself in 2005.

Its first leader was FW De Klerk, the winner of the Nobel Peace Prize along with Nelson Mandela, for his role in dismantling apartheid. The current leader is Marthinus van Schalkwyk. Recently the New National Party has entered into a participatory agreement with the African National Congress. The New National Party had some difficulty carving out a political base in post-Apartheid South Africa. On the one hand, the NNP still had the legacy of its role under apartheid. On the other hand, it seemed uncertain about its relationship with the government under the African National Congress and seemed unable to decide whether it was in a political alliance with the ANC or in opposition. These two issues led to defections to the Democratic Party which had a historical legacy of being anti-apartheid and was clearly an opposition party to the ANC.

The 1999 South African general election saw the party almost wiped out nationally, but remained influential in the Western Cape. The NNP was also part of a short-lived merger with the Democratic Party, called the Democratic Alliance. After leaving the alliance, the NNP allied itself with the ruling ANC.

During the 2004 South African general election, much of this support deserted the party due to unhappiness with their alliance with the ANC, and their portion of the national vote dropped from 6.9% in 1999 to 1.9% (it was 20.4% as the National Party in 1994). With the former governing party now only the sixth largest in the country, questions were asked about its long term future, and the leadership of van Schalkwyk. Despite his party's poor performance in the polls, van Schalkwyk was given the cabinet post of Minister of Enivironmental Affairs and Tourism, as a reward for aligning the NNP with the ANC.

The NNP Federal Council voted 88 to 2 to disband during its assembly on 9 April 2005. The party will remain a legal entity up until midnight on the day of final certification of local government election results, expected late 2005 or early 2006. It has also settled its outstanding R5,2 million debt with the ABSA bank group, in preparation for dissolution.

External link

de:New National Party fr:Nouveau parti national


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