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South Africa's Ramaphosa Urges Parties to 'Work Together' After ANC Loses Majority in Elections

© AP Photo / Emilio MorenattiSouth African President Cyril Ramaphosa speaks during the announcement of the results in South Africa's general elections in Johannesburg, South Africa on Sunday, June 2, 2024.
South African President Cyril Ramaphosa speaks during the announcement of the results in South Africa's general elections in Johannesburg, South Africa on Sunday, June 2, 2024.  - Sputnik Africa, 1920, 03.06.2024
Last Sunday evening, the chairman of the country's Independent Electoral Commission, Mosotho Moepya, announced that the ruling African National Congress (ANC) had won 159 seats in the National Assembly (lower house of parliament) out of 400, which means it didn't receive a parliamentary majority.
President Cyril Ramaphosa urged South Africa's political parties to collaborate in the interest of the nation, following the official confirmation of the results of recent elections that the president called "free, fair, credible and peaceful."

"[South Africans] expect the parties for which they have voted to find common ground, to overcome their differences, to act and work together for the good of everyone. Our people expect all parties to work together within the framework of our constitution and address whatever challenges we encounter peacefully and in accordance with the prescripts of our constitution and the rule of law," Ramaphosa said after the electoral commission announced the final results.

At the same time, he called these elections "a victory for our democracy, for our constitutional order, and for all the people of South Africa."
Moreover, despite not so great results for the ANC, Ramaphosa accepted the will of the people.
"Our people have spoken, whether we like it or not," he told the crowd. "Through their votes they have demonstrated clearly and plainly that our democracy is strong, and it is enduring. We must respect their choices and their wishes."
Election results 2024 South Africa - Sputnik Africa, 1920, 02.06.2024
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Furthermore, Ramaphosa stressed that the country's political elite had "heard the voices of our people and must respect their wishes." It also adhered to the "fundamental principles of democracy" during the election campaign, despite all differences in their views. Such a kaleidoscope of political opinions, the president noted, is "a welcome and necessary feature of a robust democracy."
"However, all the parties share an over-arching mandate, to work in partnership with each other and with society more broadly, to build a country that is inclusive, united and prosperous. As we take up our seats in Parliament and in the provincial legislatures, let us appreciate that the seats we occupy do not belong to us. They belong to the people," Ramaphosa highlighted.
Concluding his speech, the head of state thanked the citizens for "giving life and meaning to the values and principles of our constitutional democracy." He also appreciated the "tireless" work of the election commission and expressed gratitude to independent candidates and members of political parties, as well as observers, journalists, and everybody else who contributed to the successful elections.
According to the official results, the ANC is followed by the Democratic Alliance party with 87 parliamentary seats, the uMkhonto weSizwe (MK) party with 58 seats, and the Economic Freedom Fighters party with 39 seats. The remaining parliamentary seats were received by 14 other parties.
Thus, the ANC must now engage in power-sharing, most likely with a major political opponent, in order to retain its position. At the same time, the ANC managed to maintain a majority in five out of nine provincial legislative councils.
The elections' turnout was 58.63%, with 16.2 million of the 27.7 million registered voters casting ballots.