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Historic setback for the ANC, which liberated South Africa from apartheid

Photo: Themba Hadebe Associated Press Economic Freedom Fighters party leader Julius Malema is surrounded by media at the Independent Electoral Commission's national results center on June 1. His party, which received 9% of the vote, could form a coalition with the African National Congress (ANC) to allow it to regain a parliamentary majority to lead the country.

Gerald Imray – Associated Press and Mogomotsi Magome – Associated Press in Johannesburg

Published yesterday at 11:18 a.m.

  • Africa

The African National Congress (ANC) party lost its parliamentary majority in a historic election result that sets South Africa on a new political path for the first time since the end of the apartheid system 30 years ago. years, when a white minority was in power.

With more than 99% of the votes counted, the once-dominant ANC had received just over 40% in elections on Wednesday, a far cry from the absolute majority he held since the famous multiracial vote of 1994, which ended apartheid and brought him to power under Nelson Mandela. The final results have yet to be officially determined by the independent electoral commission that organized the elections, but the ANC cannot get more than 50%.

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At the start of the election, the commission said it would officially announce the results by Sunday, but it could come sooner.

While opposition parties hailed the result as a breakthrough for a country struggling with poverty and deep inequality, the ANC remained, by some margin, the largest party. However, it will now have to seek one or more coalition partners to remain in government and re-elect President Cyril Ramaphosa for a second and final term. Parliament elects South Africa’s president after national elections.

“The way to save South Africa is to break the ANC majority and we have done that,” said the main opposition leader, John Steenhuisen.

The path ahead looks complicated for Africa’s most advanced economy, and no coalition is yet on the table.

Mr Steenhuisen’s Democratic Alliance won about 21% of the vote. Former president Jacob Zuma's new uMkhonto we Sizwe (MK) party, which turned against the ANC it once led, came third with just over 14% of the vote in its first election. The Economic Freedom Fighters came fourth, with just over 9%.

More than 50 parties contested the election, most of them winning a tiny share of the vote, but the Alliance and MK seem to be the most obvious parties for the ANC to approach, given their distance from a majority. The ANC's priority becomes the rapid formation of a coalition, since Parliament must sit and elect a president within 14 days of the official announcement of the final election results. There will be many negotiations, and they will probably be complicated.

Teilor Stone

By Teilor Stone

Teilor Stone has been a reporter on the news desk since 2013. Before that she wrote about young adolescence and family dynamics for Styles and was the legal affairs correspondent for the Metro desk. Before joining Thesaxon , Teilor Stone worked as a staff writer at the Village Voice and a freelancer for Newsday, The Wall Street Journal, GQ and Mirabella. To get in touch, contact me through my teilor@nizhtimes.com 1-800-268-7116