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ANC party that freed South Africa from apartheid loses its 30-year majority in landmark election

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Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) leader, Julius Malema, arrives at the Results Operation Centre (ROC) in Midrand, Johannesburg, South Africa, on June 1. (AP)

JOHANNESBURG, June 1, (AP): The African National Congress party lost its parliamentary majority in a historic election result Saturday that puts South Africa on a new political path for the first time since the end of the apartheid system of white minority rule 30 years ago.
With more than 99% of votes counted, the once-dominant ANC had received just over 40% in Wednesday’s election, well short of the majority it had held since the famed all-race vote of 1994 that ended apartheid and brought it to power under Nelson Mandela. The final results are still to be formally declared by the independent electoral commission that ran the election, but the ANC cannot pass 50%.
At the start of the election, the commission said it would formally declare the results by Sunday, but that could come earlier.
While opposition parties have hailed the result as a momentous breakthrough for a country struggling with deep poverty and inequality, the ANC remained the biggest party by some way. However, it will now likely need to look for a coalition partner or partners to remain in the government and reelect President Cyril Ramaphosa for a second and final term. Parliament elects the South African president after national elections.
“The way to rescue South Africa is to break the ANC’s majority and we have done that,” said main opposition leader John Steenhuisen.
The way forward promises to be complicated for Africa’s most advanced economy, and there’s no coalition on the table yet.

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