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South Africa to hold general elections today

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South Africa to hold general elections today

Photo: REUTERS/Siphiwe Sibeko

South African general elections will be held today.

Analysts are reporting that the center-left African National Congress (ANC) is expected to garner less than a 50% majority vote for the first time since their post-Apartheid victory in 1994. ANC’s progressive and democratic sentiment is growing weaker, reflected by South African voter confidence.

The main Opposition party, center to center-right Democratic Alliance (DA), has created the Multi-Party Charter (MPC) for South Africa, which currently holds 144 of 400 seats. However, the DA has struggled to rally support from black voters.

The far-left Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) is an anti-establishment, radical party that focuses on the rights of black South Africans. Their vote tally is expected to sit at ~11.4%, likely to be overtaken by former President Zuma and the armed-wing Umkhonto we Sizwe (MK) party, who is expected to garner ~14% of the vote.

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Finally, the center-right to right-wing Inkatha Freedom Party (IFP) emphasizing Zulu nationalism, is expected to clinch ~3.1% of the vote, as the second-largest party within the MPC.

Should a minority government be formed by the ANC, further fractures within South Africa’s democracy are likely, as a host of varying ideologies clash short-term. As mistrust of the ANC persists, major issues like crime rates, anti-immigration policy, and energy and water crises may push voters towards change and back smaller parties. Should the ‘born-free’ youth of South Africa remove itself from voter apathy, they could vastly alter the South African political landscape, potentially unseating the ANC medium-to-long-term.

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