South Africa's ANC Closer To Forming Government Of National Unity

South Africa's ruling African National Congress (ANC) said late Thursday several political parties have shown interest in joining its proposed government of national unity but did not divulge details.

Addressing reporters shortly after the ANC National Executive Committee meeting in Cape Town, secretary general Fikile Mbalula said they had reached a breakthrough on common agreement with several political parties they have spoken to regarding the formation of a unity government, but they were not in position to give details of the talks.

"The spirits of discussions were good. We are not going to retreat on the concept of government of national unity, because we believe the concept of the national unity government to us represents the outcomes of the election. There was no outright majority and we are in no position to govern alone," Mbalula said, adding that agreements reached by parties on the government of national unity will be made public in the interest of transparency.

The ANC, once led by the global 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. This has put it in a difficult position to form a government on its own.

The ANC currently 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, and Economic Freedom Fighters has 39, the right-wing Inkatha Freedom Party (IFP) has 17 seats, and the remaining 14 parties in parliament have between nine and one seats each.

Earlier this month, ANC party leader and head of state Cyril Ramaphosa said the party had agreed to form a government of national unity after losing its majority in the May 29 polls.

"We have agreed to invite political parties to form a government of national unity, the best option to move our country forward," Ramaphosa told reporters after concluding a day-long meeting of the party's National Executive Committee (NEC).

The first sitting of both the National Assembly and the National Council of Provinces will be held on Friday with Chief Justice Raymond Zondo presiding over the swearing of members of parliament.

The chief justice will also oversee the election of new presiding officers of Parliament and the President, who will form the seventh administration that will govern the country.​​​​​​​

Source: Anadolu

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