South Africa’s EFF open to coalition to oust long-ruling ANC

South Africa’s radical leftwing Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) have expressed their openness to forming a grand coalition with centrists and other rivals. EFF leader Julius Malema made the announcement during a press briefing in Johannesburg, urging opposition parties to unite against the ANC.

“The opposition parties should come together to unseat the ANC,” Malema emphasized.

The Democratic Alliance (DA), the country’s largest opposition party, recently announced a coalition with six smaller groups. However, the move excluded the EFF, leaving them on the sidelines. Malema, 42, stated that if the DA had extended an invitation, the EFF would have gladly joined the coalition.

“But we cannot impose ourselves on the opposition parties. If they don’t want us, we will work with those who want to work with us,” Malema explained.

The ANC, which played a pivotal role in the fight against apartheid, has governed South Africa since the introduction of democracy in 1994. However, in the upcoming legislative elections, the party faces the risk of receiving less than 50 percent of the vote. Discontent regarding corruption, power cuts, a struggling economy, and persistent unemployment has taken a toll on the ANC’s standing. The party experienced significant losses in the 2021 municipal elections, marking the first time its support dipped below half of the total ballots cast nationally.

The DA, a liberal party, currently holds a fifth of the seats in parliament and is projected to secure approximately 16 percent of the vote according to current polls. Meanwhile, the EFF, a militant party drawing inspiration from Marxism-Leninism, holds the position of South Africa’s third-largest party, polling at around 13 percent.

The DA referred to its recent coalition as the “Moonshot Pact,” which aimed to bring together different parties while excluding the ANC, EFF, and their affiliates.

Following the elections, the National Assembly will convene to select the president, with the candidate from the party holding the majority of lawmakers usually emerging victorious, as outlined in the constitution.

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