S.Africa’s leftist EFF opens to coalition to oust ANC

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South Africa’s radical leftwing Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) on Friday said it was open to forming a grand coalition with centrists and other rivals in order to oust the long-ruling ANC in next year’s elections.

“The opposition parties should come together to unseat the ANC,” EFF leader Julius Malema told a press briefing in Johannesburg.

The country’s biggest opposition party, the Democratic Alliance (DA), this month announced a coalition with six smaller groups, but the initiative left the EFF on the sidelines.

“If the DA had invited us, we would have come onboard,” Malema, 42, said.

“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.”

The African National Congress (ANC), which spearheaded the fight against apartheid, has governed South Africa since the advent of democracy in 1994.

But in next year’s legislative elections it risks seeing its share of the vote slide below 50 percent, its standing battered by discontent at corruption, power cuts, a sickly economy and entrenched unemployment.

The party suffered record losses in the 2021 municipal elections, the first time in the democratic era its support dipped below half of ballots cast nationally.

The DA is a liberal party that has a fifth of the seats in parliament. Polls currently indicate it stands to win about 16 percent of the vote.

The militant EFF, which draws inspiration from Marxism-Leninism, is South Africa’s third largest party, polling at around 13 percent.

The DA this month described its “Moonshot Pact” as bringing together “different parties — excluding the ANC, EFF and their proxies.”

Under the constitution, the National Assembly meets after the elections in order to choose the president. Usually, a candidate from the party with majority lawmakers wins.

©️ Agence France-Presse

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