African National Congress seeks coalition to maintain government – Juventud Rebelde

African National Congress seeks coalition to maintain government – Juventud Rebelde
African National Congress seeks coalition to maintain government – Juventud Rebelde

JOHANNESBURG, South Africa, June 6.—South African officials have met with five political parties to discuss the possibility of forming a coalition government, the ruling African National Congress (ANC) announced Wednesday, after losing its parliamentary majority in the elections of the last week.

ANC spokesperson Mahlengi Bhengu-Motsiri told reporters that “exploratory” talks have been held with the country’s largest opposition group, the Democratic Alliance (DA), the far-right Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF). left and three other smaller parties: the National Freedom Party. (NFP), the Patriotic Alliance (AP) and the Inkatha Freedom Party (IFP). However, she stated that no final decision has been reached and that negotiations are still in their early stages, she RT reported.

«The ANC has repeatedly contacted the MKP [Partido Umkhonto Wesizwe] to hold a compromise meeting, with no positive response,” Bhengu-Motsiri said.

According to results announced by the Independent Electoral Commission (IEC) on Sunday, the ANC won 40.18 percent of the votes in the National Assembly and regional parliamentary elections held on May 29. It won 159 seats in the 400-seat parliament, up from 230 in the previous election.

It is the first time the ANC has lost its majority since Nelson Mandela led the party to victory in the first democratic elections after the end of apartheid in 1994.

Opponents have accused the government of failing to deliver on its promise of “a better life for all,” citing persistent crime, poverty and high unemployment rates in Africa’s most industrialized economy.

The center-right DA received 22 percent of the vote, equivalent to 87 seats; former president Jacob Zuma’s left-wing MP won 15 per cent, with 58 seats; and the radical Economic Freedom Fighters received 9 percent, with 39 seats.

“The results indicate that South Africans want all parties to work together, because no party obtained an absolute majority to form a government alone at the national level, in Gauteng and in KwaZulu-Natal,” said the ANC spokesperson, who said that her party has discussed various alliance options, including forming a “national unity” government with parties interested in contributing ideas on how to collectively advance the country while preserving “constitutional democracy.”

South African leader Cyril Ramaphosa is running for a second term and some kind of deal must be reached to allow parliament, which convenes in less than two weeks, to elect a president.

Analysts quoted by US news agency AP have warned against the ANC’s decision to form a coalition with the DA and the MK and EFF (the latter two were formed in 2013 and 2023, respectively) after their founding leaders split. of the African National Congress.

The ruling party reportedly risks alienating some of its key and traditional supporters if it enters into an alliance with the three main opposition parties. Meanwhile, the MK Party, which repeatedly accused the government of intimidation in the run-up to the election, has declared that it “will not negotiate with the ANC.”

On Monday, ANC Secretary-General Fikile Mbalula declared that the Party will not consider any demands from potential coalition partners for President Cyril Ramaphosa’s resignation, despite the final results announced by the Independent Electoral Commission (IEC) on Sunday showed that the ANC had received just 40.18 percent of the vote, a 17 percent drop from its performance in the 2019 election.

Proposals for his resignation in order for coalition talks to continue remained “a no-go area.” «No political party will dictate conditions to us, the ANC. They won’t… They come to us with that demand, forget it,” Mbalula said.

ANC First Deputy Secretary-General Nomvula Mokonyane previously claimed the party is “talking to everyone” about a possible coalition

Ramaphosa, who is seeking a second and final term, called in a speech at the results announcement ceremony on Sunday for all political parties to put aside their differences and find “common ground” to form the first national coalition government.

«Our people have spoken. Whether we like it or not, they have spoken. We have heard the voices of our people and we must respect their choices and their wishes. …The people of South Africa expect their leaders to work together to meet their needs. “This is the time for all of us to put South Africa first,” he said after the results were announced.

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