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South Africa's Strengthened Opposition Eyeing Electoral Gains

Oct 12, 2015 | 09:15 GMT
South African President Jacob Zuma gives the opening remarks the ruling African National Congress' National General Council on Oct. 9.
(GIANLUIGI GUERCIA/AFP/Getty Images)

Africa's second-largest economy may be on a slow, tentative road to recovery, but the effects of the global financial crisis are still playing themselves out in the political arena. Historically in post-apartheid South Africa, the ruling center-left African National Congress (ANC) has dominated the polls; since 1994 it has won over 60 percent of the vote in all national elections, which take place every five years. However, over time its overall share of the vote has fallen, and South Africa's almost non-existent economic growth has strengthened voices from political far left and center hoping to challenge the ANC in next year's municipal elections. In reality, the splintered opposition probably lacks sufficient support to completely upset the political status quo. Nonetheless, South African political parties are hoping that municipal elections in 2016 will help shape voter behavior for national elections in four years....

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