South Africa’s ANC, DA, others agree on national unity government

South Africa’s ruling African National Congress (ANC) party and the Democratic Alliance (DA) have reached a deal to form a government of national unity, state broadcaster SABC reported Friday. 

The deal, coming in the wake of May 29 elections that denied the ANC one-party rule for the first time in decades, also includes the Patriotic Alliance (PA), which has nine seats in parliament, and the Inkatha Freedom Party (IFP), with 17 seats.

The ANC has 159 lawmakers in the 400-member National Assembly, while the center-right main opposition Democratic Alliance (DA) has 87, uMkonto Wesizwe Party has 58, Economic Freedom Fighters has 39, IFP has 17, and the remaining 14 parties in parliament have between nine and one seats each.

ANC leader and current President Cyril Ramaphosa is expected to be reelected Friday during the first sitting of parliament currently underway with the support of the DA, IFP, and PA, according to local media reports.

According to Times live, the parties struck the deal shortly after 10 a.m. local time (0900GMT).

The ANC, once led by global civil rights icon Nelson Mandela, dominated South African politics for the past three decades, until losing its majority in national and provincial elections on May 29.

The party which used to secure more than 60% in all elections since 1994, except in 2019, when its share dipped to 57.5%, got only 40.18% of the vote.

The ANC proposed the formation of a government of national unity earlier this month after losing its majority in parliament.

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