South Africa Election, 29th May

Silvanus

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It's a year of consequential elections-- UK, US, India, Venezuela etc. South Africa's election is this Wednesday, 29th March.

It's also the most closely contested since universal suffrage in 1994. Polls indicate this is likely to be the first time the ANC will fail to achieve a majority since they took power. South Africa has an extremely high unemployment rate (~40%), failing public services, and the ongoing effects of an epidemic of corruption under the last President.


The parties with the strongest standing are;

ANC - African National Congress, which enjoys a lot of continuing credit for achieving the end of apartheid. Social-democratic. Cyril Ramaphosa's predecessor, Jacob Zuma, has tarnished the party's reputation among some former supporters and younger voters, as he oversaw extraordinarily widespread financial corruption.

DA - Democratic Alliance. Official opposition, economic liberals. Draws its support predominantly from white South Africans and older voters.

EFF - Economic Freedom Fighters. Marxist party that believes black South Africans have won political but not economic independence and freedom. Racist streak-- "we're not calling for the slaughter of white people-- at least not yet", as their leader put it.

uMkhonto weSizwe - formed by Jacob Zuma after leaving the ANC. Zuma retains a chunk of support from former ANC supporters who're further to the left than its current leadership, and who credit him with some major successes like SA's induction to BRICS. Zuma is followed by numerous indictments for fraud and other corruption charges, and critics see this new party as a vehicle to avoid prosecution.
 

XsjadoBlaydette

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Wasn't there a coup attempt recently by some weed entrepreneurs or something too?

Ahah!


There was! Am not insane yet.

South African statement on the attempted coup d’etat in the Democratic Republic of the Congo
Media Statement

21 May 2024

South African statement on the attempted coup d’etat in the Democratic Republic of the Congo


South Africa condemns the attempted coup d’etat that took place on Sunday, 19 May 2024, in the Democratic Republic of the Congo.

The attempted coup’ in the DRC constitutes an erosion of the normative framework that underpins constitutionalism and good governance on the continent, which are the central tenets of building peace, stability and security.

In this context, South Africa welcomes the statement by the Chairperson of the African Union Commission condemning the coup and any use of force to change the constitutional order in any African state”.

South Africa further welcomes the Communiqué of the Extra-Ordinary Virtual Summit of the SADC Heads of State and Government of 20 March 2024 on El Nino-induced drought, which strongly condemned this attempt aimed at destabilizing the democratic institutions of the DRC through unconstitutional means.

The attempted takeover is a violation of the African Union common position, which rejects unconstitutional changes of government, as enshrined in the Lomé Declaration of 2000 and also undermines the Constitutive Act of the African Union.

South Africa calls for calm and urges the Government of the DRC to investigate this regrettable incident.

ISSUED BY THE DEPARTMENT OF INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS AND COOPERATION

OR Tambo Building
460 Soutpansberg Road
Rietondale
Pretoria
0084

Explainer: The foiled coup in DR Congo: Here's what to know

Malanga referred to himself as the 'President of New Zaire' and head of a government in exile on his website.


May 20 (Reuters) - Security forces thwarted a coup attempt in the Democratic Republic of Congo on Sunday in which armed men targeted the homes of top officials and briefly occupied the office of the presidency in the capital Kinshasa, authorities said.

WHAT HAPPENED?

In the early hours of Sunday, a group of around 50 men armed in camouflage fatigues attacked the residences of the prime minister, the defence minister, and a senior politician tipped to become speaker of parliament, according to the army.

Authorities called it an attempted coup.

The assailants breached the Palais de la Nation, a grand porticoed building in central Kinshasa that houses the office of President Felix Tshisekedi.

Videos shared online that Reuters has not verified show armed men milling around the entrance of the presidency, whose glass doors have been smashed. They hoist the flag of Zaire, Congo's former name. One shouts: "Felix we're coming for you." Others chant: "Long live Zaire."

Soon after, security forces moved in, killing the group's leader, U.S.-based Congolese politician Christian Malanga, and three others. Around 40 others were arrested, the army said.

WHO WAS CHRISTIAN MALANGA?

On his website, Malanga, 41, referred to himself as the "President of New Zaire" and head of a government in exile. The site does not mention plans to seize power by force, but outlines Malanga's vision for the country under his leadership.

An online biography describes him settling in the United States as a child refugee, returning to Congo to serve as an officer fighting rebels in the east, and campaigning to stoke opposition to the current Congolese political class, which he accuses of corruption and mismanagement.

Malanga, who had previously threatened on social media to overthrow Tshisekedi, first attempted an aborted coup in 2017, according to army spokesperson Sylvain Ekenge.


The army has shared a photo of his body sprawled on the grass in blood-stained fatigues.

Congo's President Felix Tshisekedi and French President Emmanuel Macron hold a press conference, in Paris



WHO ELSE WAS INVOLVED?

Congo authorities said participants in the coup attempt included foreigners and Congolese citizens. Three U.S. citizens, including Malanga's son, were among those detained, Ekenge said.

The army shared a video of a large group of detained alleged participants in the coup sitting on the ground as armed guards stand by. They wear camouflage and have Zaire flags draped on their shoulders. Two of the detainees in the video appear to be white men. One has bruises around his eyes and the other's face is bloodied.

Ekenge told Reuters one of the assailants was U.S. citizen Benjamin Zalman-Polun. Local media described him as a medical marijuana entrepreneur who was also involved in mining interests with Malanga. Reuters was not able to reach Zalman-Polun or his representatives for comment.

U.S. court documents, seen by Reuters, show a defendant with the same name pleaded guilty in 2014 to possessing or distributing at least 20 kg of marijuana.

In the ministry's video, a detained man described as a recruiter for Malanga's cause says Malanga had planned to proclaim himself president.

"He indicated he had the support of the Americans, but we realise that he didn't really have any," the detainee said.
The U.S. ambassador has said the United States will fully cooperate with the Congolese authorities and hold accountable any U.S. citizens involved.

WHAT DOES THIS MEAN FOR CONGO?

The speed with which the coup attempt was quashed suggests the plotters did not pose a major threat, but the fact they hit targets meant to be highly secure is cause for concern, said Tresor Kibangula, a political analyst at Congo's Ebuteli research institute.

"The whole thing was carried out with a disconcerting degree of apparent unpreparedness and improvisation, which raises a number of questions: did he (Malanga) act alone? What about the flaws in the security arrangements in the capital?"

The drama comes at a delicate time for President Tshisekedi, who is struggling to curb a two-year offensive by Rwanda-backed rebels in eastern Congo that threatens to spill over into a broader conflict.

Five months after Tshisekedi's disputed re-election, the ruling coalition has failed to form a government due to internal rivalries over jobs, despite a large majority in parliament.
 

meiam

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EFF - Economic Freedom Fighters. Marxist party that believes black South Africans have won political but not economic independence and freedom. Racist streak-- "we're not calling for the slaughter of white people-- at least not yet", as their leader put it.
Gotta be a special kind of special to go "look how well Zimbabwe turned out!" and vote for that.

iirc Zuma was just prevented from being on the ballot, but I'm guessing he still pull the string from behind.

Anyway, the message of the election is "racism is bad" and voting for people based on the colour of their skin doesn't work well, even when there's good historical reason.
 
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crimson5pheonix

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Wasn't there a coup attempt recently by some weed entrepreneurs or something too?

Ahah!


There was! Am not insane yet.



 
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Agema

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Gotta be a special kind of special to go "look how well Zimbabwe turned out!" and vote for that.
It's not necessarily a problem, at least for the party doing it.

The core risk is that by dispossessing experienced rich producers and parcelling out their stuff to inexperienced producers, the quality and quantity of output declines. Potentially very severely, as Zimbabwe demonstrates. But the mere existence of the rich/poor disparity is a grievance that people will motivate voters. Even if the end result of carrying this policy out is to tank the national economy, as many of the voters will have gone from being poor to still being poor, they haven't necessarily lost anything to want to punish the party that did it.
 

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Gergar12

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EFF and ANC are full of whackjobs. Jacob Zuma was a lunatic, and this current head of state hasn't dealt with crises in energy, crime, and climate(water) well. They need to stop letting idiots that side with Russia into their governments.

The DA could do better but it needs to appeal to South Africaners as a more national forward-facing party that doesn't discriminate based on race.
 
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Silvanus

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Results are all in, confirming that the ANC has lost its majority for the first time.

ANC: 40.2%, 159 seats

DA: 21.8%, 87 seats

uMkhonto weSizwe: 14.6%, 58 seats

EFF: 9.5%, 39 seats

Inkatha Freedom (conservative party that derives its support almost exclusively from the Zulu population): 3.9%, 17 seats

Patriotic Alliance (far-right): 2%, 9 seats

Now comes the coalition-building effort by the ANC. Jacob Zuma has said he will not ally with the ANC as long as Cyril Ramaphosa leads it, and the ANC has said Ramaphosa's position is non-negotiable.

So that means the clearest possible approaches for the ANC would be to ally with either DA, or EFF + one other party.
 

Gergar12

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Results are all in, confirming that the ANC has lost its majority for the first time.

ANC: 40.2%, 159 seats

DA: 21.8%, 87 seats

uMkhonto weSizwe: 14.6%, 58 seats

EFF: 9.5%, 39 seats

Inkatha Freedom (conservative party that derives its support almost exclusively from the Zulu population): 3.9%, 17 seats

Patriotic Alliance (far-right): 2%, 9 seats

Now comes the coalition-building effort by the ANC. Jacob Zuma has said he will not ally with the ANC as long as Cyril Ramaphosa leads it, and the ANC has said Ramaphosa's position is non-negotiable.

So that means the clearest possible approaches for the ANC would be to ally with either DA, or EFF + one other party.
Cringe EFF and Zuma are clowns. ANC is corrupt.
 

meiam

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Results are all in, confirming that the ANC has lost its majority for the first time.

ANC: 40.2%, 159 seats

DA: 21.8%, 87 seats

uMkhonto weSizwe: 14.6%, 58 seats

EFF: 9.5%, 39 seats

Inkatha Freedom (conservative party that derives its support almost exclusively from the Zulu population): 3.9%, 17 seats

Patriotic Alliance (far-right): 2%, 9 seats

Now comes the coalition-building effort by the ANC. Jacob Zuma has said he will not ally with the ANC as long as Cyril Ramaphosa leads it, and the ANC has said Ramaphosa's position is non-negotiable.

So that means the clearest possible approaches for the ANC would be to ally with either DA, or EFF + one other party.
About what was expected. I dunno how secured Ramaphosa is, Zuma probably still has support in the ANC so he might be able to organize something from behind and eject him.

Ideal (I guess) would be for the DA coalition, but I don't know how much power the DA would have in this situation. Maybe they could push for more devolution and sorta fix things town by town like they're doing behind the scene. But realistically, they'll probably go with EFF.

In other middle income country election news, Mexico is also having its big election (poll are close but results unknown for now). Unusually, it'll be a women who will win since both serious contender are women. It'll almost certainly be a continuation of AMLO policy, which have not worked at all, but are somehow popular because... I don't know to be honest, it's really weird he's popular when he literally has nothing to show for it and is kinda openly insane (iirc, he was bragging about them finding a mummified alien a few months back). He channel all kind of major work trough the army, which is really corrupt and in bed with the cartel, and almost certainly getting a tons of money that way, but he publicly cut his salary so it seems like he has an aura of being above money? He also keep launching major project that are disastrously bad, like some sort of tourist train that will never make money (again, probably using it to funnel money to him and his cartel buddy). Politic is weird.
 

Agema

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In other middle income country election news, Mexico is also having its big election (poll are close but results unknown for now). Unusually, it'll be a women who will win since both serious contender are women. It'll almost certainly be a continuation of AMLO policy, which have not worked at all, but are somehow popular because... I don't know to be honest,
If all other options have generally shown themselves to be indequate, a "fresh face" candidate/party can get a lot of leeway, especially if they are very good at saying the right sorts of things. If they turn out to be as ineffectual as their predecessors in policy, it can take a substantial amount of time before people finally decide they need the boot, too. This is why the ANC are hitting the buffers: South Africa is groaning under policy inadequacies, and the goodwill that the ANC has relied on thus far is fast drying up. GDP/capita has been stagnant for 10-15 years, crime and corruption are stubbornly high, which is not a place a developing country with aspirations of greatness wants to be in.

Although Mexico and SA share relatively similar situations, AMLO and his successor have a significant advantage compared to the ANC. The economic mediocrity and crime spike predate them to previous administrations, so they have a measure of protection by being not obviously worse than what came before. The ANC has nowhere to hide. And AMLO might be eccentric, but evidently not in a way that alienates voters.

What worries me about certain candidates offering this fresh start these days is that they are decidedly authoritarian. Rather than genuinely fix a lot of the country's problems, they instead invest energy in corrupting the political system to make it artificially hard to remove them. If they can achieve that, policy failures aren't such a big deal to them in keeping power. Eventually with problems bottled-up like that it will end in a much more explosive transition of power, but they can make hay in the meantime.
 
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meiam

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Claudia Sheinbaum has won in Mexico with an increased voteshare for Morena (~58%).

Will be good to have a former climate scientist in office.
Meh, she promised to continue AMLO policy of favouring fossil fuel over renewable energy even if they cost the customer more.
 

Silvanus

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Meh, she promised to continue AMLO policy of favouring fossil fuel over renewable energy even if they cost the customer more.
Can I get a source on that? Can find plenty on AMLO's fossil fuel policy, but Sheinbaum promised to invest 14bn in renewables.
 

meiam

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Can I get a source on that? Can find plenty on AMLO's fossil fuel policy, but Sheinbaum promised to invest 14bn in renewables.
She vowed to continue AMLO energy policy


Which were pretty much focused on energy independence through oil extraction, even private sector from building their own renewable electricity grid and forcing public entity to buy energy from public firm, even if they were much more expensive fossil fuel compared to cheap renewable.


She did pledge to build more renewable, but only trough the public entity, which are corrupt and incompetent, so I doubt any of it will even materialize during her tenure.
 

Satinavian

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She vowed to continue AMLO energy policy
There are two fields of conflict.

Renewables vs fossils (where AMLO was in favor of fossils ans she seems not to be)
Public owned vs private/foreign owned (where both and also the population at large seem to be in favor of public).

So yes, the change will probably result in a huge push for publicly owned renewables. Which is a good thing.
 

Agema

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She did pledge to build more renewable, but only trough the public entity, which are corrupt and incompetent, so I doubt any of it will even materialize during her tenure.
That's not necessarily worse than leaving the job to corporations, who are often busy subverting policy and government activity to pursue their own agenda - especially if the state is relatively corrupt and incompetent thus struggles to hold them to account.