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Will the ANC share power with the MK or DA party?

Farouk Chothia & Catherine Byaruhanga,BBC News, Johannesburg

Reuters Cyril Ramaphosa Reuters

Cyril Ramaphosa replaced Jacob Zuma as president in 2018 after a bitter power struggle

South African President Cyril Ramaphosa is under increasing pressure after leading the ruling African National Congress (ANC) to its worst election results in 30 years, forcing the party to share power.

With most of the votes, the ANC took 40% – down from 58% in the previous election.

Analysts said the figure was lower than the worst-case scenario the party feared was 45%.

The ANC has consistently polled above 50% since the country’s first democratic election in 1994, where Nelson Mandela became president.

However, support for the party has dropped significantly due to discontent over high levels of corruption, unemployment and crime.

Citing the cost of living crisis and frequent power cuts, one woman told the BBC she had voted for the ANC for the past 30 years, but this time supported the centre-right Democratic Alliance (DA). .

“This result is not good. I want it out of the government. We need to give others a chance,” she said.

At a briefing late Saturday, election commission head Mosotho Moepya said they would be ready to announce full results on Sunday.

The BBC understands this will be done at 6pm local time (5pm BST).

This is when we will know exactly how many seats each party has in Parliament, although South Africa has a very strict system of proportional representation so we already have a pretty good idea.

A source told the BBC that the ANC leadership, including President Ramaphosa, is currently discussing the way forward and preparing for complex coalition negotiations.

Their options are a coalition with the DA, the second-placed party with 22% of the vote, or the uMkhonto weSizwe (MK) party led by former President Jacob Zuma, with 15%.

The Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) make up 9%, so a coalition of these two parties would fall just short of the 50% requirement.

The new parliament must be sworn in within two weeks of the final results and a new president will usually be chosen after that.

Both the EFF and MK support the expropriation of white-owned land and the nationalization of the country’s mines – policies that could make foreign investors wary.

MK said they would be willing to cooperate with the ANC, but not while it is led by Mr Ramaphosa.

He replaced Mr. Zuma as president and leader of the ANC after a fierce power struggle in 2018.

MK supporters celebrated overnight in Durban, the largest city in the party’s heartland in KwaZulu-Natal province. The party was only founded in September.

ANC president Gwede Mantashe said his party was unlikely to form a coalition with the DA.

He said there would have to be “policy alignment” between the parties to form a coalition agreement.

For the ANC, black empowerment policies – aimed at giving black people a share in the economy after their exclusion during apartheid – were “non-negotiable”.

EPA DA SupportersEPA

Support for the DA has increased in this election

He added that any coalition partner would have to agree to the National Health Insurance (NHI) Bill, which promises universal healthcare for all, which has already been signed. into law earlier this month.

The DA opposed both the NHI and the ANC’s black empowerment policies.

Despite the ANC’s reluctance to align with the DA, its leader John Steenhuisen has not ruled out the idea.

But if a coalition with the ANC is reached, there will be some non-negotiables, he said.

“Respecting the rule of law and the constitution, a social market economy considers the private sector a partner in the growth agenda.

“Zero tolerance for corruption and cadre mobilization, and absolute focus on economic policies aimed at job growth.”

Mr Steenhuisen also told the BBC he would have to consult with coalition partners before the election before considering any negotiations.

But he ruled out the EFF and the MK party as potential coalition partners.

“I think instability is not in the best interest of the country. An alliance with the radical left in South Africa of the MK party and the EFF will introduce the same policies that destroyed Zimbabwe, destroyed Venezuela “, he said.

A record 70 parties and 11 independents contested the election, with South Africans voting for a new parliament and nine provincial legislatures.

The DA signed a pact with 10 of them, agreeing to form a coalition government if they had enough votes to oust the ANC from power.

But this does not include the EFF or MK, who are needed for a majority.

As parties scramble to form coalitions, former Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta, who is leading the African Union’s election observation mission in South Africa, offered some advice on forming a coalition. bright.

He said coalition governments need to focus on areas of agreement instead of differences.

“I can only wish them the best and hope that the leadership will consider this decision of the people in a positive way,” he said.

Additional reporting by Nomsa Maseko and Anthony Irungu

Getty Images/BBC A woman looking at her mobile phone and BBC News Africa imageGetty Images/BBC


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