South Africa Presidential Election: Political Parties Begin Final Campaign

South Africa’s four main political parties began the final weekend of campaigning Saturday before a possibly pivotal election that could bring the country’s most important change in three decades.

Supporters of the African National Congress, which has been in the government ever since the end of white minority rule in 1994, gathered at a soccer stadium in Johannesburg to hear a speech by party leader and South African President Cyril Ramaphosa.

The ANC is under unprecedented pressure to retain its parliamentary majority in Africa’s most advanced country. Having seen its popularity steadily decline over the last two decades, Wednesday’s election could be a landmark moment when the party once led by Nelson Mandela drops below 50% of the national vote for the first time, although it’s still widely expected to win the largest share.

Several polls have the ANC’s support at less than 50%, raising the possibility that it will have to form a national coalition.

That would also be a first for South Africa’s young democracy, which was only established 30 years ago with the first all-race vote that officially ended the apartheid system of racial segregation

AP News

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