ANC suf­fers ma­jor polls de­feat

The Myanmar Times - - World -

SOUTH Africa’s rul­ing African Na­tional Congress suf­fered a his­toric de­feat in the coun­try’s cap­i­tal, where it lost to the op­po­si­tion Demo­cratic Al­liance in lo­cal polls, the elec­toral com­mis­sion said.

Re­act­ing to the worst elec­tion re­sult for the party since the end of white-mi­nor­ity rule 22 years ago, Pres­i­dent Ja­cob Zuma said vot­ers had been heard.

“These elec­tions were hotly con­tested. That is how it should be in a democ­racy,” said Mr Zuma, who is fac­ing ques­tions about his po­si­tion af­ter the elec­tions.

In Tsh­wane, the metropoli­tan area that in­cludes Pre­to­ria, the DA won 43.1 per­cent of the vote over the ANC’s 41.2pc, ac­cord­ing to fi­nal re­sults.

The ANC also lost its ma­jor­ity in Johannesburg, the coun­try’s eco­nomic cen­tre, where it won 44.5pc of the vote, and will now have to seek politi­cal al­lies in or­der to re­tain con­trol.

The elec­tion re­sults have high­lighted the de­clin­ing pop­u­lar­ity of the party that led South Africa’s an­ti­a­partheid strug­gle.

The set­back to the ANC “hap­pened quicker and harder than ev­ery­one thought. It’s a shocker for ev­ery­one,” said in­de­pen­dent politi­cal an­a­lyst Ralph Mathekga.

The loss of Pre­to­ria comes on top of the ANC con­ced­ing de­feat on Au­gust 5 in Port El­iz­a­beth, a key bat­tle­ground of the mu­nic­i­pal elec­tions.

De­feat in Port El­iz­a­beth, by a mar­gin of 46.7 to 40pc, was a blow for the rul­ing party – the area is of­fi­cially known as “Nelson Man­dela Bay” af­ter the for­mer ANC leader. –

Photo: AFP

African Na­tional Congress and South African Com­mu­nist Party sup­port­ers dance and sing in cel­e­bra­tion at Wem­bezi town­ship at the start of mu­nic­i­pal elec­tions on Au­gust 3.

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