South African opposition parties unite in effort to remove ruling ANC

The coalition spearheaded by South Africa’s biggest opposition party (DA) on Thursday called upon other political parties to unite with them, aiming to garner sufficient votes in next year’s elections to overthrow the ruling ANC.

In an unprecedented turn of events since the inception of democracy in 1994, the African National Congress (ANC) is facing the possibility of losing its parliamentary majority in 2024, and consequently, the presidency.

This development occurs amid a backdrop of mounting dissatisfaction due to corruption, an unparalleled energy crisis, and a sluggish economy characterized by high unemployment rates.

“We are extending another invitation because we think there are political parties that would be a good fit”, Siviwe Gwarube, a representative of the Democratic Alliance (DA), told media on the sidelines of a coalition meeting in Johannesburg.

“They could increase our numbers,” she further commented, refraining from revealing calculations regarding the coalition’s present prospects of success in the voting process.

The last month DA disclosed their collaboration with six minor parties in preparation for the 2024 elections.

Nonetheless, this alliance does not include the radical left-wing Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF), which is the country’s third-largest political party.

With around a fifth of the parliamentary seats, the DA has the potential to secure 16 percent of the vote, as indicated by polls. Presently, there are fourteen parties represented in the parliament.

“Our mission is to overthrow the ANC, exclude the EFF and establish a multi-party government”, the coalition parties stressed in a joint statement.

“We have not forgotten history, but this nation must stop living in it”, commented Neil de Beer, leader of the United Independent Movement, a member of the coalition. He was alluding to the ANC, which has held authority since the end of apartheid.

The longstanding party dipped below the 50 percent threshold for the initial time in local elections held in 2021. President Cyril Ramaphosa, aged 70, was reinstated in December. If the ANC emerges victorious, he is assured of a second term as the leader of the country.

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