South Africans Vote in Landmark Election, ANC Faces Possible Coalition

On Wednesday, South Africans will vote in the most competitive election since apartheid ended, with polls suggesting the African National Congress (ANC) may lose its parliamentary majority after 30 years in power.

The ANC, which has won every national election since Nelson Mandela led it to victory in 1994, is facing declining support. If it secures less than 50% of the vote, it will need to form a coalition with smaller parties to govern.

Despite likely winning the largest vote share, President Cyril Ramaphosa’s leadership could be challenged if the ANC performs poorly. Voter dissatisfaction stems from high unemployment, crime, power outages, and corruption within the party.

Over 27 million South Africans are registered to vote at more than 23,000 polling stations. The election will determine provincial assemblies and the national parliament, which will then choose the president.

Opposition Parties

The pro-business Democratic Alliance, the second-largest party in 2019, has allied with smaller parties to broaden its appeal. The Economic Freedom Fighters, advocating for nationalizing mines and seizing land from white farmers, also aim to gain influence. Former president Jacob Zuma supports uMkhonto we Sizwe (MK), a new party named after the ANC’s former armed wing.

Partial election results will be released shortly after polling stations close, with final results expected within seven days.

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