When And What Is Expected From South Africa’s Election Results

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The national election in South Africa has sparked intense interest both from citizens and foreigners, making it what could be referred to as the most fiercely contested political showdown in three decades.

Since it became a democratic state in 1994, the African National Congress (ANC) has held a firm grip on power in South Africa, securing both parliamentary dominance and the presidency. However, this election seems to challenge its longstanding authority.

On the day of election, starting from 7 a.m. to 9 p.m., millions of South Africans across nine provinces will come out and exercise their voting right. With nearly 28 million registered voters, the election will no doubt shape both the national and provincial legislatures.

As the norm is, parties will have seats in Parliament based on their share of the vote, and vote counting commences immediately after polls close. The final results are anticipated to be out by Sunday, and it is handled by the independent electoral commission.

The most important moment in the whole process is when Parliament convenes to elect the president. The lower house, i.e the National Assembly, is tasked with this responsibility, the ANC’s historical parliamentary majority has facilitated the seamless ascension of its leaders to the presidency, but this time, the path may not be as straightforward as expected.

Pre-election polls suggest a loss for the ANC, as projections indicates a potential failure to secure a parliamentary majority. Should this come to pass, the ANC would be compelled to seek alliances or coalitions to retain governance and re-elect President Cyril Ramaphosa for a final term.

Following the announcement of election results, the new Parliament must convene within 14 days to elect the president. In the event of the ANC’s loss of majority, negotiations among political parties will begin, aiming to establish a viable coalition before parliamentary proceedings commence.

While the prospect of an opposition alliance taking over from the ANC remains a remote possibility, the fractured landscape of South African politics presents several challenges. The tension that exists between major opposition factions, such as the centrist Democratic Alliance and the far-left Economic Freedom Fighters, dampens the possibility of a cohesive action against the ANC’s rule.

As uncertainty lingers, the political future of South Africa hangs in the balance, awaiting the outcome of intricate negotiations as well as the verdict of the electorate.

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