Elections in South Africa: What you should know before historic coalition negoti

mohmed - | World

The African National Congress, which helped free the nation from apartheid in 1994, lost its 30-year majority, but that is about all that has been determined by the election in South Africa.

Still, it was the largest party. The leaders of the major parties in South Africa are starting coalition discussions in an attempt to create a government, but no one has a majority. Because of the ANC's long-standing control, South Africa has never needed to do this.

Following last week's election, there are four main political parties and at least eight that have sizable portion of the vote. It will be difficult.

Here's a rundown of some of the major players and potential future developments as South Africa ventures into unknown waters.

Cyril Ramaphosa, 71, who was once a protege of Nelson Mandela, is currently in charge of the worst election outcome in ANC history. He is facing criticism from both the electorate and members of his own party, but he still managed to chuckle when one official mispronounced him on Sunday, calling him the "extinguished" president rather than the distinguished one. Ramaphosa declared, "I'm not extinguished yet."

The task facing Ramaphosa is to lead his party through the many ANC factions to a partnership he believes is ideal. The Democratic Alliance, the primary opposition, is an obvious pick. They would have enough seats in Parliament between them to form a government. Though both parties have stated they are ready to talks, the DA has long been a harsh critic of the ANC's policies, so the marriage would not be simple.

The ANC also has the option of joining forces with the Economic Freedom Fighters and the uMkhonto weSizwe party, sometimes known as the MK party, or with both of the other two major opposition groups. Given that both MK and the EFF have promised to nationalize South Africa's significant gold and platinum mines as well as the central bank, it could be detrimental to South Africa's reputation with global investors.

Ramaphosa's coalition arrangement must also result in his reelection for a second term, which puts his presidency in jeopardy. Voting for parties in elections determines how many seats each party receives in Parliament for South Africa. The president is thereafter chosen by legislators, and the ANC no longer has enough legislators to reelect Ramaphosa.

As the leader of the centrist Democratic Alliance and the lone white leader among the four major parties, John Steenhuisen, 48, is the principal opposition figure. Aside from MK and the EFF, he claimed, his party was also starting conversations with other parties. Because of their divergent ideologies, the DA has drawn a line and declared that it will never cooperate with them.

Analysts generally believe that bringing Ramaphosa's ANC and Steenhuisen's DA together will result in the most stable coalition. There have been suggestions that the ANC-DA combination could be diluted by adding smaller parties to form a larger coalition.

Prior to Ramaphosa taking over, Jacob Zuma served as both the ANC's head and the country's president. They are now bitter rivals. Zuma, an 82-year-old who only announced his political comeback in December, was the election's wild card. After receiving 14% of the vote and considerable ANC backing, his newly established MK Party had a significant effect by emerging as the third-largest party in its first election.
Because of their personal hostility, Zuma's party has requested that Ramaphosa resign in order for them to form a coalition. The condition was rejected by the ANC. Even though it doesn't appear like they have much in common, MK does have a sizable vote share and seats in Parliament right now.


Zuma, who was convicted of contempt of court and completed a prison sentence, is scheduled to stand trial for corruption allegations in 2019. Due to his criminal past, he was not permitted to vie for a seat in Parliament in this election.

After losing votes in the election, Julius Malema's EFF party fell to fourth place behind MK. At 43 years old, Malema is the youngest of the main leaders and has a long history with the ANC having served as its youth leader before being expelled for wrongdoing.

Known for being a firebrand, his party adheres to Marxist principles; nonetheless, there are several points of convergence with the ANC. The EFF was considered an obvious coalition partner for the ANC before to MK taking over and diminishing its importance. The DA may withdraw from any coalition that includes the EFF and MK due to their ideological differences.

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