Ramaphosa says election results show South Africa’s strong democracy

by Admin
Ramaphosa says election results show South Africa’s strong democracy

The Electoral Commission of South Africa Sunday night announced official results that marked the start of a new era in the country’s politics.

Official results from Wednesday’s historic election showed the governing African National Congress, ANC, had lost its absolute majority for the first time.

The ANC won 159 seats in the 400-member National Assembly — about 40% of the vote — a huge drop of 71 seats since winning 57% of the ballot in the last elections in 2019.

The chairman of the Electoral Commission, Mosotho Moepya, acknowledged the election had been fiercely contested.

“These elections were undoubtedly the most difficult and the most hotly contested,” he said.However, he added that they were free and fair and represented “the collective voice of the nation.”

While the ANC still received the largest number of seats by far, it will now have to enter a coalition with opposition parties.

The business-friendly Democratic Alliance, or DA, took the second-largest share of the vote, with 87 seats.

It was followed with 58 seats for uMkhonto we Sizwe, or MK, a newly formed party led by former President Jacob Zuma. The radical left, Economic Freedom Fighters party, overtaken by upstart MK, came in fourth, with 39 seats. Smaller parties took the remaining seats.

Analysts say corruption, high unemployment and general failure to do more to improve the lives of poor Black South Africans was why many South Africans turned on the ANC, 30 years after it brought about the end of apartheid.

After Sunday’s announcement, President Cyril Ramaphosa took to the podium to accept the results.

“Our people have spoken whether we like it or not …. Through their votes they have demonstrated clearly and plainly that our democracy is strong, that our democracy is robust, and it is enduring.”

Zuma’s MK said the day before the results announcement that it doesn’t accept the results and wants a recount. Zuma intimated violence could ensue if it didn’t get its way.

However, Defense Minister Thandi Modise told VOA at the results ceremony that she was not worried.\

“Well, we have not necessarily taken extra measures…. We have begged all political parties to be calm…. We hope that there will not be any necessity for any of us in the security sector to come in and interfere,” she said.

The ANC now has 14 days in which to form a coalition government, so negotiations with the other parties will be getting underway.

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