South African parties await ANC unity government proposal

South African opposition parties are awaiting further details on the African National Congress’s (ANC) proposal for a government of national unity after the ANC lost its majority in the May 29 vote for the first time since the democratic era began.

The ANC, which has governed since 1994, must now share power.

President Cyril Ramaphosa announced that the ANC leadership supports broad collaboration to move forward.

The Democratic Alliance (DA), the main opposition party with 87 seats, is open to talks but expressed concerns about including all parties rather than limiting it to those committed to the current constitutional framework. The ANC holds 159 of the 400 seats.

Ramaphosa mentioned discussions with the DA, Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF), and smaller parties like the Inkatha Freedom Party (IFP), National Freedom Party, and Patriotic Alliance. The EFF and the uMkhonto we Sizwe (MK) led by former President Jacob Zuma, advocate for radical economic changes like nationalising mines and land seizure without compensation.

The IFP, with its Zulu support base, is cautiously open to the unity government but awaits more details.

The new parliament must convene within two weeks of the election results declaration, putting pressure on parties to reach an agreement quickly. The constitutional deadline for electing the president is around June 16.


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