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Roger Jardine's Change Starts Now won’t contest 2024 elections

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Roger Jardine's Change Starts Now won’t contest 2024 elections

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1st March 2024

By: Thabi Shomolekae
Creamer Media Senior Writer

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Change Starts Now (CSN) announced on Friday that it will not be contesting the elections in May.

Former government official and leader of the new political party Roger Jardine noted that a recent Constitutional Court decision posed barriers to newly established political parties as they faced a prejudicial logistical timetable to qualify for the ballot.

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The Independent Electoral Commission’s rules for new parties, relating to the amount of signatures required for them to contest the elections, was recently under scrutiny in the Constitutional Court, however, the court chose not to hear the issue citing a disruption in preparations for the May elections.

Jardine said the party had taken a decision that, while it believed that it was essential to give voters as much encouragement to exercise their democratic right, by providing them with a range of options, in the interests of increasing the chances of political change, CSN would for now support political parties who shared its values and aspirations.

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CSN came on the scene in December 2023, with Jardine saying the party was launched recognising a desperate national crisis.

“We understood then what our research has since shown us: South Africans are demanding political change, and their expectations and demands for a political alternative are not being met,” he said.

He explained that in a short time, CSN had established a significant national following and recently launched its manifesto.

“With this vision for a better future, CSN was gearing up to build a political compact of millions of like-minded South Africans and political formations who share our mission of offering citizens a vision for the change they are demanding: a new government, made up of honest, competent people who want to rebuild the country, deliver on our constitutional values and rights and expand opportunities for everyone so that millions of people can escape poverty and prosper,” said Jardine.

He pointed out that the party’s research and engagements with South Africans showed that while people were abandoning the African National Congress, much political work was needed to unite South Africans behind a shared vision for the future of the country.

“Therefore, CSN will continue to work on, champion and advocate for the ideas in our Change Charter [manifesto]. We call on all South Africans to participate in the democratic process and to vote in these pivotal elections,” he said.

Jardine said he continued to believe in the importance and obligation of an intergenerational group of dedicated citizens with experience in politics, business and society, who would work collaboratively to change the country.

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