South African opposition parties join forces to unseat ruling ANC
After a two-day meeting and following months of negotiations between seven South African opposition parties, the Multi-Party Convention agree to work more closely as the country heads towards elections in 2024.
During the ceremony, leaders of the various parties sign the Multi-Party Charter, saying this will pave the way to oust the ruling African National Congress, led by President Cyril Ramaphosa.
They called on different parties that were not part of the formation to reach out and join their efforts in making sure that the ANC is removed from power, claiming that the country is being misgoverned and the rule of law not respected.
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), said 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.