ANC eyes national unity government after election loss

South Africa’s African National Congress (ANC) has suggested forming a government of national unity after losing its parliamentary majority in last week’s elections.

It says it has reached out to all parties but negotiations are still underway.

“The results indicate that the South Africans want all parties to work together,” ANC spokesperson Mahlengi Bhengu-Motsiri told journalists.

The ANC got about 40% of the vote, with the centre-right Democratic Alliance (DA) on 22%, the MK party of former President Jacob Zuma on 15% and the radical Economic Freedom Fighters on 9%.

Under South Africa’s proportional representation system, any government would need to be formed of parties which together got more than 50% of the vote.

Ms Bhengu-Motsiri said the ANC has had discussions with the DA, the EFF and other smaller parties.

She revealed that despite reaching out to MK, there has been no positive response.

Since the results were announced, there has been feverish speculation in South Africa about what sort of coalition could be formed.

Forming a government of national unity would allow the ANC to sidestep the dilemma of who to work with.

A coalition with the DA would have angered many party activists who see it as representing the interests of the white minority – a charge the party denies.

There is also a wide chasm between MK and the ANC due to the personal animosity between President Cyril Ramaphosa and Mr Zuma, the man he replaced as ANC leader in 2018 after a bitter power struggle.

Mr Zuma has said he is open to working with the ANC as long as it has a new leader, while the ANC has said President Ramaphosa will not be removed and that it is non-negotiable.



Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here