Proponents of intra-party democracy (IPD) argue that the level of commitment to uphold democratic governance by a political party can be determined by inspecting to what extent the political party upholds democratic governance within the party. Overly centralised power and the abuse of power within political parties in various countries, including South Africa, is a systemic problem. While scholars have elaborated on the South African regulatory context in relation to IPD and how this regulatory context enables an undemocratic relationship between political parties and its members, this policy brief goes further to outline the general criteria required to put IPD into practice in South African political parties. The criteria for IPD explored in this brief includes fair and inclusive candidate selection procedures and policy-making processes; fair disciplinary procedures; the protection of freedom of speech; the inclusion of diversity provisions in terms of race, gender and age; upholding and protecting civil liberties; and upholding transparency and accountability. Following this policy brief, MVC will measure the extent to which South African political parties uphold or institutionalise IPD by looking at which of the mentioned criteria these parties fulfil. Click on the link below to download the pdf report.

Policy Brief on Intra-Party Democracy