The official coalition partners want the United Democratic Movement (UDM) to remain part of the deal reached after the 2016 local elections to form governments in hung councils. A meeting was held on Thursday in Cape Town between the DA, the Freedom Front Plus, Congress of the People (Cope) and the African Christian Democratic Party (ACDP) on the UDM’s role in the coalition. The national coalition took immense strain after the UDM teamed up with the ANC and EFF in Nelson Mandela Bay last week to oust the DA’s Athol Trollip as mayor. The UDM’s Mongameli Bobani was voted in as mayor the same day. Keeping the UDM in the coalition is crucial, especially in Nelson Mandela Bay, as it makes the difference between the coalition governing with a narrow majority, or handing the metro to the ANC.

The working agreement between the coalition partners is also seen to be important ahead of the 2019 national elections, when coalitions may be crucial as opposition parties hope to push the ANC ...

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