Nairobi — South Africans say they are excited and eager to see what a coalition government is going to look like days after elections show no party won an outright majority.

“I’m excited because the ANC is finally going to be in a position where they have to reconsider how they’ve been approaching running the country, governing the country,” 30-year-old architect Simphiwe Malambo tells VOA.

“This is going to be a very challenging era for South Africans’ politics,” especially for the ruling party, 40-year old Pafana Zempe, an artist and educator said to VOA, adding the ANC will now have to think “which coalition they should do because with the DA it’s something else, with EFF it’s something else, with the latest MK, it’s also something else,” he said.

“Depending on the coalitions, if it’s the DA/ANC coalition together, the DA can actually get in and do some good where the ANC has failed,” Mark Fleming, an animator who didn’t share his age, told VOA.

Possible coalitions:

The African National Congress secured 40% of the vote, followed by the Democratic Alliance with about 22%. A coalition between the two could reconcile the country, says Tendai Mbanje, election analyst from the African Center for Governance.

“The DA/ANC coalition promotes non-racialism. The DA/ANC coalition promotes unity in the country among two races. It could also strike a balance between competing differences in terms of addressing issues of poverty…economic issues affecting the country.”

Other coalitions could be with the newly formed party led by former president Jacob Zuma, uMkhonto We Sizwe or MK, which won about 15% or the Economic Freedom Party (EFF), which won about 10% of the final vote tally. Edgar Githua is a professor at Strathmore University in Kenya.

“Unfortunately, Zuma has already… said he will only have a coalition with the ANC on conditions that Cyril Ramaphosa is not going to be the president… it looks like ANC EFF, and they need one of the other tiny ones to help them pretty much get to 50-51% to be able to form a government comfortably.”

The Inkatha Freedom Party (IFP) grabbed about 4% of the vote while the Patriotic Alliance took 2% according to the country’s Independent Electoral Commission.

The ANC says its leader will not resign following election results but is open to working with everyone to form a government that will serve South Africa’s people.

“At this stage in time, Cyril Ramaphosa is the best foot forward for the ANC, simply because of his reputation within and globally,” Mbanje noted.

Effects of coalitions internally and globally

While internally, the economy and governance could improve with a coalition government, South Africa’s stance on global issues could face some opposition.

For example, Mbanje said there could be “contradictions or fights within the coalition government in regards… to South Africa’s positions regarding certain countries for example, Israel Palestine issue, issue of Zimbabwe within the SADC [Southern African Development Community], Ukraine Russia issues among others.”

Views echoed by Githua. “These are some of the things that will now have to be renegotiated within the coalition government because all the political parties have their manifestos, have how they want to project themselves.”

South Africa has accused Israel of committing genocide in Gaza in a case they brought to the International Court of Justice. Israel argues that its ground offensive which the Gaza health ministry says has killed about 36 thousand Palestinians is in response to Hamas militants’ attack on Israel last year that killed 1,200 people according to Israeli tallies.

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