South Africa’s ANC leans toward a ‘unity’ government that evokes Mandela but divisions are there

CAPE TOWN, South Africa (AP) – President of South Africa Cyril Ramaphosa And other senior officials in African National Congress Party They gathered for a crucial meeting on Thursday to decide whether to formally propose the formation of a “unity” government including all major parties to resolve the political impasse in Africa’s most industrialized nation before a June 16 deadline.

A national unity government, which ANC officials said was the first option on the table, recalls South Africa’s transition from apartheid white minority rule to democracy in 1994.

Then the new president Nelson Mandela He brought political opponents – including the last apartheid leader – into his first government to promote unity in a fractured country.

Although this was a remarkable act of reconciliation on Mandela’s part, this time the ANC’s hand was forced after last week’s elections. Most of them removed for 30 years And make sure that it works with others to form the government.

The ANC has held a comfortable majority since the end of apartheid, but won only 40% of the vote in these elections, although it remains the largest party.

“We want to involve everyone,” Fikile Mbalula, secretary-general of the ANC, said of the unity government’s proposal. He said the ANC meeting that would decide whether to support the idea had concluded Narrower coalition With one or two parties, it will likely last all day.

An agreement of sorts This must be done by June 16, the deadline for South Africa’s new parliament to convene to elect a president.

South African citizens vote for parties and receive seats in Parliament according to their share of the vote. Lawmakers then elect the president, and while Ramaphosa is still expected to be the presidential nominee in a multi-party government, it will have to be formalized. The ANC will need the help of others to be re-elected since it has lost its parliamentary majority. Ramaphosa (71 years old) is seeking a second and final term.

South Africa is seeking to reduce any uncertainty through what promises to be a complex process that is likely to continue until next week. It keeps South Africans on edge at one of the most important times In their young democracy.

A unity government now looked like a more likely scenario than a direct ANC-ANC alliance The main opposition party is the Democratic Allianceor DA, the party that received the second largest share of the vote at about 22%.

More than 50 parties competed in the elections, and at least eight of them received significant shares of support. They range from the centrist DA, seen as a business-friendly party, to the DA Radical leftist economic freedom fightersor EFF, which wants to nationalize parts of the economy, including South Africa’s important gold and platinum mines and the central bank.

There is also New Knesset Party Former president Jacob Zuma, who said he would not negotiate while Ramaphosa takes over as leader of the ANC, a position Driven largely by Zuma’s hostility Towards the man who replaced him as president.

Any plan for a unity government has yet to be transferred from the ANC to those other parties, some of which are more opposed to each other than the ANC. The DA has pledged never to work with the EFF or MK, for example, and there are clear divisions to overcome.

There is also division within the ANC, which does not fully support the possibility of forming a national unity government. Mbalula said he expects debate and disagreement to occur at Thursday’s meeting and is likely to continue throughout the day. The meeting is being held by the ANC’s National Executive Committee, a body of more than 80 senior party members, including Ramaphosa as leader of the ANC. He decides the direction of the party.

While senior ANC leaders are seen as open to forming a direct alliance with the Democratic Alliance, members of the People’s Party have opposed it, sometimes with racist undertones that are often not far from the surface in a country still grappling with its history of apartheid. Brutal.

Some ANC supporters and allies, such as the National Trade Union Congress, have described the white-led Democratic Alliance as a party that prioritizes the interests of South Africa’s white minority over blacks, who make up more than 80% of the population.

The Democratic Alliance has denied this characterization and pointed to the large numbers of black support, which is reflected in the fact that it received the second highest number of votes across the country.

Political analyst Asanda Ngwashing said the comprehensive national unity government plan was the “safest option” for the ANC to bolster its base given that it was suffering its worst electoral result, as well as avoiding the economic uncertainty that would come with a tighter coalition with the ANC. Marxist EFF party.

“I think forming a national unity government in collaboration with multiple parties…is the best way and I think it’s the smart decision,” she told Newsroom Africa news channel.


IP Africa News: https://apnews.com/hub/africa

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