Johannesburg – The coalition led by South Africa’s largest opposition party (DA) on Thursday urged other parties to join them in a bid to secure enough votes in next year’s elections to unseat the ruling ANC.
For the first time since the advent of democracy in 1994, the African National Congress (ANC) risks losing its parliamentary majority in 2024, and therefore the presidency.
This comes against a backdrop of growing discontent with corruption, an unprecedented energy crisis and a flagging economy marked by unemployment.
“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 AFP on the sidelines of a coalition meeting in Johannesburg.
“They could increase our numbers”, she added, not disclosing calculations on the coalition’s current chances of winning at the ballot box.
Last month, the DA announced a coalition with six smaller parties with a view to the 2024 elections.
However, this coalition excludes the radical left-wing Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF), the country’s third largest political party.
The DA has a fifth of the seats in Parliament and could win 16 percent of the vote, according to the polls. There are currently fourteen parties in 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”, added Neil de Beer, head of the United Independent Movement, which is in the coalition. He was referring to the ANC, which has been in power since the end of apartheid.
The historic party fell below the 50 percent mark for the first time in local elections in 2021. President Cyril Ramaphosa, 70, was reappointed in December. He is guaranteed a second term at the head of the country if the ANC wins.
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