After elections: South Africa’s ANC aims for cross-party government

After elections: South Africa’s ANC aims for cross-party government

The loss of the majority was a bitter shock for the former party of anti-apartheid fighter Nelson Mandela. Instead of a classic coalition, it now wants to take a different path.

After the historic loss of its absolute majority, South Africa’s ruling party ANC is seeking cooperation with all parties represented in parliament. “We have agreed that we will invite political parties to form a government of national unity as the best option to move the country forward,” said South Africa’s President and ANC party leader Cyril Ramaphosa after a meeting of the party leadership lasting several hours.

In the parliamentary elections on May 29, the African National Congress (ANC) lost its absolute majority for the first time in 30 years. The party of former anti-apartheid fighter Nelson Mandela only has 159 of the 400 seats in parliament and can no longer form a government on its own. The newly elected parliamentarians must form a government and elect a president by the end of next week.

A Government of National Unity is a kind of grand coalition with all parties that won seats in parliament in the election. Such a government would take into account and represent the wishes of all voters, ANC spokesman Mahlengi Bhengu-Motsiri had previously explained. The ANC could thus avoid having to commit itself to a single coalition partner – such as the economically liberal Democratic Alliance (DA), which could alienate a large part of the ANC electorate. However, according to analysts, a Government of National Unity runs the risk of being neither stable nor capable of consensus.

Source: Stern

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