Monday, June 24, 2024

South Africa: ANC faces tough decision to pick coalition partners

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Isaac Kaledzi
Isaac Kaledzi
Isaac Kaledzi is an experienced and award winning journalist from Ghana. He has worked for several media brands both in Ghana and on the International scene. Isaac Kaledzi is currently serving as an African Correspondent for DW.

South Africa’s ruling African National Congress (ANC) party has started internal discussions as it makes what could be considered a tough decision in forming a coalition government.

The party won 40% of the votes in last month’s general election and that means it cannot rule on its own unless it forms a coalition.

The ANC says it was open to talk to all political parties to form a coalition government following the election.

“We would work with anyone who wants to work with us but not with a cap in the hand,” ANC secretary-general Fikile Mbalula said late on Sunday after the official results were announced.

But choosing a coalition partner though has become a tough decision for the ANC since all the opposition parties pose tricky complications.

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To form the next government, the ANC must find a coalition partner so it can secure a majority in parliament. That way it can get its preferred president and execute legislative plans.

The ANC won 159 out of 400 seats in the country’s National Assembly.

The parties available for the ANC to form coalition with include the second biggest party, the centre-right Democratic Alliance (DA), which won 22% of the vote. The DA won 87 seats.

Former President Jacob Zuma’s uMkhonto weSizwe (MK) party which won 58 seats and Julius Malema’s Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) which has 39 seats are the other options. These two parties placed third and fourth respectively in the just ended elections.

The dynamics

The DA is considered to be a party that protects the white privileged and it believes in the free market.

The MK party led by Jacob Zuma though has serious disagreements with the ANC and the existing acrimony makes it a tricky coalition partner. The EFF is also considered very radical in its policies and also poses a tricky pick.

“This moment in our country calls for responsible leadership and constructive engagement,” said President Cyril Ramaphosa in a weekly newsletter published on Monday.

But Zwelinzima Ndevu, director of the School of Public Leadership at Stellenbosch University told Reuters that the coming days would be tough for the ANC.

“It is going to be very difficult coalition negotiations, even more so for the ANC because of its internal contradictions,” Ndevu said.

All eyes are now on the ANC to find a solution in the coming days as parliament must sit and elect a president within 14 days of the results being declared.


South Africa Election: ANC’s 30 years dominance ends


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