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South Africa schedules election as Mandela’s party fights to retain majority

South Africa will hold national elections on May 29, President Cyril Ramaphosa announced on Tuesday.

Ramaphosa’s ruling African National Congress party, once led by Nelson Mandela, is seeking to maintain a majority in South Africa’s seventh fully democratic national election since the end of apartheid, a system of forced racial segregation in 1994. is expected to face severe challenges.

Before 1994, black people were not allowed to vote.

South Africa’s unemployment rate, the highest in the world, continues to rise ahead of elections

The ANC, which led the anti-apartheid movement, has been in power for 30 years, winning an overwhelming majority in the national referendum since the dismantling of the racial discrimination system. However, several opinion polls this year predict that the vote share could fall below 50% for the first time in a general election.

South African President Cyril Ramaphosa addresses the media after meeting with Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta on Tuesday, November 23, 2021 in Pretoria, South Africa. (AP Photo/Themba Hadebe)

South Africans are tired of a struggling economy, record unemployment, a spate of corruption allegations against ANC statistics, and an electricity crisis that has resulted in daily rolling blackouts to homes and businesses.

If the ANC falls dramatically below 50% of the vote, and in some opinion polls it falls dramatically below 40%, it will be necessary to form a coalition to remain in power and keep Mr. Ramaphosa in office for a second and final five years. It is necessary to assemble. . South Africa has never had a coalition government at the national level.

South Africans vote for political parties rather than presidential candidates in general elections. Political parties are then allocated seats in the 400-member parliament based on their percentage of votes, and the members elect the president.

Because the ANC has a majority in parliament, the president is always from the ANC.

Mr Ramaphosa announced the date in a statement from his office.

“Beyond fulfilling our constitutional obligations, this election is a celebration of our democratic progress and a determination of the future we all want,” he said. “I call on all South Africans to exercise their democratic right to vote and for those campaigning to do so peacefully and in full compliance with the law.”

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South Africans will also vote on the composition of the provincial parliament.

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