South African election date set


South African election date set

By Norm Dixon

South Africa is likely to hold its first non-racial general election next April 27, it was announced on June 3. The African National Congress described the announcement as a vital breakthrough.

The date is subject to ratification by a full meeting of the 26-party Negotiation Forum on June 25.

The election will result in the formation of a constituent assembly to draft a post-apartheid democratic constitution. The vote will be carried out under a system of proportional representation and is likely to be conducted over a three-day period.

A government of national unity will be formed from among those parties receiving at least 5% of the vote. Parties will be represented in the executive in proportion to the percentage of the vote they receive, and the majority party will determine the president.

The provisional date emerged following a marathon meeting of representatives of the 26 organisations participating in the negotiations. The meeting lasted three hours longer than scheduled because of unsuccessful attempts by a bloc of the Inkatha Freedom Party and the white supremacist Conservative Party to stall agreement.

Despite some fears that April 27 will not be endorsed by the full Negotiation Forum meeting on June 25, the support of both the ANC, which proposed the date, and the National Party government makes its adoption almost certain.

The South African Communist Party and the trade union movement have promised to resume their campaign of mass action if the date is not endorsed.

If you like our work, become a supporter

Green Left is a vital social-change project and aims to make all content available online, without paywalls. With no corporate sponsors or advertising, we rely on support and donations from readers like you.

For just $5 per month get the Green Left digital edition in your inbox each week. For $10 per month get the above and the print edition delivered to your door. You can also add a donation to your support by choosing the solidarity option of $20 per month.

Freecall now on 1800 634 206 or follow the support link below to make a secure supporter payment or donation online.