The forerunner to the history of the modern Democratic Alliance was the Progressive Party (PP) and was formed in 1959 when Liberal members separated from the United Party (UP). They disagreed with UP’s inability to present an alternative to the policies of the National Apartheid Party. PP emphasizes constitutional reform, bills, an independent judiciary and moves towards federalism.
These reform proposals were combined with the advocacy of a free market economy. In 1961 only Helen Susman was elected to the Parliament. For 13 years he was the sole opponent of racial discrimination and other abuses of the apartheid regime in white parliament alone, campaigning against extrajudicial detention, passing laws and controlling the tide. You can check out this source: Foundation For Peace in South Africa for democratic alliance.
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Colin Eglin has been the leader of the party since 1971 without being a member of parliament himself. In 1974 the party won seven seats.
A year later, in July 1975, the Progressive Party merged with the Reform Party (RP), the breakaway Unity Party. The result was the formation of the South African Progressive Reform Party (PRP). Former Reform Party leader Harry Schwartz was appointed leader of the PRP National Executive, while Eglin was elected leader.
Another branch of UP is the South African Party (reviving the original SAP name). Both the NRP and SAP are more conservative than the PFP, but envision a federal solution to the country’s racial problems. The SAP moved closer to the ruling National Party and merged in 1980, and the growing league trend within the National Party itself favored expanding non-white political participation.