Democratic Party set to elect new chairman

Democratic National Committee to hold as many rounds of voting as it takes in Atlanta for new chairman to emerge.

    The Democratic Party is set to elect a new chairman who analysts say would be crucial to helping the party regain federal power, which has been lost to a great degree to the Republican Party.

    The Democratic National Committee (DNC) has converged on the US city of Atlanta and is expected to elect their new leader after multiple rounds of votes on Saturday.

    Tom Perez, who had served as labour secretary under Barack Obama's administration, and Keith Ellison, a popular congressman, are seen as the main front-runners in the vote that includes seven other candidates.

    The election for the Democrats' new leader involves 442 eligible members of the national party committee. The winner must capture a majority of votes cast.

    The DNC will have as many rounds of voting as it takes for a new chairman to emerge.

    READ MORE: America's flawed democracy

    Perez, Ellison and other Democrats agree on the need to rebuild the party at the state and local levels.

    They say those organisations then can capitalise on the widespread opposition to US President Donald Trump by getting frustrated voters to elect more Democrats.

    In a phone interview from Atlanta, Jason Johnson, a political analyst, told Al Jazeera the election is key to determining a figure that could rebuild the Democratic Party, which is one of only two parties largely capable of being elected in the US, that has been "decimated at the state level".

    "With Obama out of office, Joe Biden largely out of the political arena and the Clintons no longer being an effective brand, the Democrats really need a leader to rebuild the party at a state level," he said.

    Al Jazeera's Shihab Rattansi, reporting from Atlanta, said that one major difference between Perez and Ellison was that the latter had "support from people who not only protested against US President Donald Trump, but also against the Democratic Party who they feel allowed Trump to win."

    SOURCE: Al Jazeera


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