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ANC faces ‘complicated’ coalition talks post-majority loss

  • ANC loses majority, needs coalition partner
  • ANC support drops to just over 40%
  • Coalition talks expected, focus on Ramaphosa’s reelection

In the election, the party’s support was reduced by just over 40%, with 99% of the votes counted, due to widespread poverty, a stagnating economy, increasing unemployment, and power and water shortages.

The African National Congress (ANC) chair in South Africa has stated that the party can engage in dialogue with all individuals and entities, as it will require a coalition partner following the loss of its parliamentary majority.

With 99% of the ballots counted, the once-dominant party of the late Nelson Mandela has seen its support slashed, receiving just over 40% in the landmark national election.

The independent electoral commission that conducted the contest in the nation of 62 million people has yet to declare the final results formally. However, the ANC is unable to achieve a 50% threshold.

This implies that a spate of negotiations is imminent, which are expected to be intricate.

uMkhonto we Sizwe (MK), a new party led by former Jacob Zuma, received 14%. In contrast, the far-left Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF), led by ex-ANC youth leader Julius Malema, received 9%. The primary opposition party, John Steenhuisen’s Democratic Alliance (DA), was 21%.

Over 50 parties participated in the election in total, with many receiving a small percentage of the vote.

Since the historic 1994 referendum that ended white minority rule, the ANC has won every previous national election by a landslide. This organization liberated the country from apartheid in the early 1990s.

However, its support has diminished over the past decade due to increased unemployment, widespread poverty, a stagnant economy, and electricity and water shortages.

South Africa’s official unemployment rate is 32%, among the world’s highest.

Black individuals, who constitute 80% of the population and have been the foundation of the ANC’s support for years, are disproportionately affected by poverty.

The urgent emphasis will now be on coalition negotiations, as parliament must elect a president within 14 days of the official declaration of the final election results.

President Cyril Ramaphosa of the ANC actively seeks reelection for his second and final tenure.

Gwede Mantashe, the current mines and energy minister and chief of the African National Congress (ANC), responded to reporters’ inquiries regarding the party’s potential coalition partners by asserting, “We can converse with anyone and everyone.”

Julius Malema, the leader of the far-left EFF party, declared, “We have succeeded in our objective of reducing the ANC’s membership to less than 50%.” The objective is to make the ANC more modest.

He stated that “we are going to negotiate with the ANC” to form a coalition potentially. However, more is needed to secure a majority by including another party in the current count.

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“We have succeeded in breaking the ANC’s majority, which is the only way to rescue South Africa,” stated the primary opposition leader, John Steenhuisen.

In the interim, Nhlamulo Ndlela, the spokesperson for the MK party, stated, “We are amenable to engaging in negotiations with the ANC; however, we are not interested in the ANC that Cyril Ramaphosa leads.”

One of the primary reasons the ANC could not secure a majority was the strong performance of Jacob Zuma’s MK party, particularly in his native province of KwaZulu-Natal.

Analysts suggest that the ANC may consider a “government of national unity” that involves a diverse array of parties rather than a formal coalition between a few.

However, Mr. Malema stated that the EFF was opposed to this concept and would rather be a part of a coalition.

The Independent Electoral Commission’s figures indicate that approximately 28 million South Africans were enrolled to vote, and the turnout is anticipated to be approximately 60%.

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