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ANC’s Win Reveals a Reduced Support from People in South Africa

The ruling African National Congress (ANC) in South Africa saved its position, after facing a tough competition in the parliamentary elections. On Saturday, the electoral commission announced the official results revealing that the party has won with 57.5 per cent votes.

The party celebrated the victory after the results were formally announced at 18:30 in a ceremony in the administrative capital, Pretoria.

The chief electoral officer, Sy Mamabolo stated that the nation had shown the world that it could unite, despite differences. “The elections were a tribute to the people of South Africa who continue to show an unquenchable hunger for democracy,” he said.

Saturday’s result secured a sixth straight term in power for the ANC, which has been ruling South Africa since the end of apartheid in 1994. However, it was the worst-ever ballot in the party’s 25-year-old history, where its share has never fallen below 60 per cent in national elections.

In 2004, the ANC took a record 69 per cent of the vote. Over the years, people’s support for the party has steadily declined, where it gained 62 per cent in previous elections in 2014 and to a below 60 per cent in this year’s electoral.

Some analysts described the results as a “decent performance”. Fikile Mbalula, the ANC’s head of elections, stated that if the current president, Cyril Ramaphosa had not ousted his predecessor, Jacob Zuma, the ANC might have polled as low as 40 per cent.

Zuma has been the leader of both the party and the nation during an intense three-month struggle for power in late 2017 and early 2018. His nine-year rule marked a sharp economic decline and a series of corruption scandals.

The 230 seats that the ANC has won in the 400-member parliament will renew pressure on Ramaphosa to resolutely deal with the cabinet ministers alleged of corruption, as well as battle the party rivals opposing his reforms.

Political analyst Lumkile Mondi said that the party has been granted with a chance, and it is an “opportunity for them to reincarnate themselves.”

In his victory speech, Ramaphosa said the election confirmed “freedom and democracy reign” in South Africa. “Our people have given all of the leaders of our country a firm mandate to build a better South Africa for all.”

To win back the support of people, Ramaphosa will have to address their issues, including corruption, failing services, high crime levels and a failure to act against corrupt officials, during his five-year term in office.

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