South Africa's Ramaphosa urges unity after ANC setback in landmark election

President Cyril Ramaphosa urged South African party leaders to work together in the public interest Sunday, after his ANC lost its 30-year-old governing majority in a bruising general election.

But, in a sign of possible turmoil to come, the graft-tainted former president Jacob Zuma boycotted the results ceremony and his third-placed uMkhonto weSizwe (MK) party refused to recognise the results.

The final tally gave Ramaphosa's ruling African National Congress 159 places in the 400-seat National Assembly, its lowest score in a general election.

The centre-right opposition Democratic Alliance (DA) was on 87, Zuma's MK on 58 and the Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) of leftist firebrand Julius Malema on 39 -- followed by several minority outfits.

The vote share of the party of late liberation leader Nelson Mandela slumped to just over 40 percent from the 57 percent it won in 2019.

The new parliament is to meet within two weeks and its first task will be to elect a president to form a new government.

But, with no outright winner for the first time since the advent of South Africa's post-apartheid democracy, the ANC will need to seek outside support to secure Ramaphosa's re-election.

'Doomsday Coalition'

(AFP)


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