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South Africa’s ruling ANC considers coalition after worst election results in history

South Africa’s ruling ANC considers coalition after worst election results in history






South Africa’s ruling party has lost its majority, putting President Cyril Ramaphosa under pressure to form a coalition government as the country’s elections close. Photo by Jemal Comtesse/UPI
With almost all votes recorded and counted, Ramaphosa and his African National Congress now hold 40% of the national vote, the party’s lowest vote total since its inception in 1994 and after the ANC garnered 58% of the vote in of previous elections in South Africa. to obtain a majority government. Photo by Jemal Comtesse/UPI
South African Democratic Alliance leader John Steenhuisen (R), who came second in the country’s elections with more than 20% of the vote, said he would consider a coalition with the ruling African National Congress, but not if President Cyril Ramaphosa remains in power. . Photo by Jemal Comtesse/UPI
South African President Cyril Ramaphosa and the ANC are now considering coalition options, the BBC reported, including with former president Jacob Zuma’s new far-left uMkhonto weSizwe or MK party (pictured). File Pool Photo by Peter Foley/UPI

June 1 (UPI) — South Africa’s ruling party has lost its majority, putting President Cyril Ramaphosa under pressure to form a coalition government as the country’s elections close.

With almost all votes recorded and counted, Ramaphosa and his African National Congress now hold 40% of the national vote, the party’s lowest vote total since its founding in 1994.

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The ANC received 58% of the vote in South Africa’s previous elections, on track to achieve a majority government.

Its own analysts had predicted that the worst-case scenario would see the party garner 45% of the vote. The ANC has never scored below 50 percent since Nelson Mandela was chosen as leader and won the presidency in the country’s first democratic elections in 1994 after the end of apartheid.

The final election results are expected to be made public on Sunday at 6 p.m. SAST.

Support for Ramaphosa and his party is waning as South Africans look for political alternatives to combat persistently high levels of corruption, unemployment and crime.

The 71-year-old came to power in 2018, succeeding former president Jacob Zuma. Now, Ramaphosa and ANC leaders are considering coalition options, the BBC reported, including with Zuma’s new uMkhonto weSizwe or MK party.

The far-left MK party was established late last year but received around 15% of the vote.

Another far-left party, the Economic Freedom Fighters won 9% of the vote.

Zuma, now 82, was released from prison last August due to prison overcrowding, after being sentenced to 15 months in prison for defying a court order forcing him to testify on charges of corruption.

Ramaphosa and Zuma were engaged in a power struggle for leadership of the ANC, with the latter ultimately resigning in 2018 amid accusations of corruption.

The MK party has said it would consider working with the ANC, but not while Ramaphosa, the country’s fifth president, is in charge.

Zuma’s new party called for the nationalization of banks and the expropriation of land held by white owners without compensation.

The economy-focused Democratic Alliance was in second place on Saturday after receiving about 21.7% of the vote.

Its leader John Steenhuisen did not rule out a coalition deal with the ANC but said a shared government could not include Zuma’s MK party.