This happened in Nelson Mandela’s country, for the first time in 30 years

Johannesburg As a result of the historic election in South Africa, the African National Congress (ANC) did not get a majority in Parliament. The ANC, the party that freed South Africa from apartheid, lost its majority for the first time in 30 years. 100 percent of the votes have been counted for Wednesday’s election and the ruling ANC has more than 40 percent of the vote, short of a majority. The ANC won 159 out of 400 seats in South Africa’s National Assembly, the Electoral Commission said in an official announcement of election results on Sunday.

President Cyril Ramaphosa’s ANC has lost its majority for the first time since Nelson Mandela was elected in 1994, 30 years ago. However, Ramaphosa has refused to resign despite falling short of a majority, and talks have begun on an unprecedented coalition between various parties to form a government in the country.

Opposition parties hailed it as an important breakthrough for a country struggling with poverty and inequality. Although the ANC remained the single largest party, it now has to find coalition partners to stay in government and re-elect President Ramaphosa for a second term. After national elections, Parliament elects the President of South Africa.

The result ends three decades of ANC dominance in South Africa, but the path forward for Africa’s most advanced economy is complicated because no coalition partners are yet ready to negotiate.

The main opposition party ‘Democratic Alliance’ got about 21 percent of the votes. Former President Jacob Zuma’s new ‘MK Party’ finished third in its first election with more than 14 percent of the vote. The ‘Economic Freedom Fighters’ came fourth with over nine percent of the vote. The round of negotiations to form the government has begun and it is likely to be very complicated.

The MK party said one of its conditions for any agreement is that Ramaphosa be removed as ANC leader and president. MK Party spokesperson Nhlamulo Ndlela said, “We are ready to negotiate with the ANC, but not with Cyril Ramaphosa’s ANC.” More than 50 parties participated in the national elections. The ANC is far from the magic majority figure and will likely have to approach one of the three main opposition parties.

“We have been saying for the last 30 years that the way to save South Africa is to eliminate the ANC majority and we have done that,” said John Steenhuisen, leader of the Democratic Alliance. Electoral Commission chairman Mosotho Mopya said this is a time of calm for everyone. “It is time for leaders to lead and be the voice of reason,” he said.

Tags: South Africa

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