SOUTH AFRICA ELECTIONS: ANC to Form Coalition Government after Failing to Secure 50% Votes

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South Africa’s African National Congress (ANC) has been forced to opt for sharing power after a historic loss of its parliamentary majority, with over 97% of the vote tally showing the ANC will not secure the 50% required for it to form a government on its own.

According to the South Africa Independent Electoral Commission, the counting in over 97% of voting districts is complete, and the ANC’s share of the vote currently stands at 40%. Trailing behind are the Democratic Alliance (DA) at 22%, the MK party led by former President Jacob Zuma at 15%, and the EFF at 9%.

With no significant change expected from the final results over the weekend, this is the first time the ANC has failed to poll over 50% since the country’s first democratic elections in 1994, which saw Nelson Mandela become president.

South Africa’s media reports indicate that support for the party has been dropping significantly due to anger over high levels of corruption, unemployment, and crime.

Consequently, to hold on to power, the ANC will need to form a coalition with one or more other parties. However, the party chairperson, Gwede Mantashe, said that his party was unlikely to form an alliance with the center-right DA, which is currently polling in second place with 22% of the vote.

He said that there would have to be “policy alignment” between parties to a coalition agreement. A deal to keep the ANC in the presidency could involve opposition backing in exchange either for cabinet posts or for more control of parliament, perhaps even the speaker.

President Cyril Ramaphosa is expected to still keep his job, as the ANC is on course to get about twice as many votes as the next party despite failing to garner 50%, and analysts said he has no obvious successor.

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