dodgy maths

South Africa: New electoral law slammed as ploy to keep ANC in power

By Ray Mwareya

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Posted on April 24, 2023 10:29

South Africa’s ANC party holds national policy conference
File photo of South Africa President Cyril Ramaphosa giving an opening address during the African National Congress (ANC) national policy conference (REUTERS/Siphiwe Sibeko)

South African president Cyril Ramaphosa has signed into law a controversial new electoral bill whose key feature is permitting independent candidates to run for election for the first time. Furious opponents have slammed this as a ploy to keep the ANC in power even if it takes less than 50% of the vote.

South Africa runs a so-called ‘proportional’ parliamentary system, whereby the party with the largest votes gets the highest allocation of lawmakers, Stephen Chan, an African governance expert at the University of London tells The Africa Report. Internal party chiefs draw lists of “cadres” to send to parliament.

This is the stark opposite of the so-called “direct democracy” where MPs are directly elected by voters and represent specific constituencies.

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