A guide to what’s next for South Africa in unprecedented coalition talks

by Admin
A guide to what's next for South Africa in unprecedented coalition talks


Once a protege of Nelson Mandela, Ramaphosa, 71, has now overseen the worst election result in the ANC’s history. He is under pressure within his own party as well as with voters, but he managed to laugh when an official made a slip Sunday and referred to him as the “extinguished” president rather than distinguished. “I’m not yet extinguished,” Ramaphosa said.

Ramaphosa’s challenge is to guide his party to a coalition he sees as best amid different factions within the ANC. The obvious choice is the main opposition Democratic Alliance. Between them, they would have enough seats in Parliament to govern. But the DA has been fiercely critical of the ANC’s policies for years and the marriage wouldn’t be an easy one, even if both have said they are open to discussions.

Another option for the ANC is to join with one or both of the two other main opposition parties, the uMkhonto weSizwe party, or MK party, and the Economic Freedom Fighters. That could be damaging for South Africa’s image with foreign investors given MK and the EFF have both pledged to nationalize South Africa’s important gold and platinum mines and the central bank.

Ramaphosa’s presidency is in the balance given a coalition agreement also has to translate into reelecting him for a second term. South Africans vote for parties in elections to decide how many seats they get in Parliament. Lawmakers then elect the president and the ANC now doesn’t have enough lawmakers on its own to reelect Ramaphosa.

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