Naidu, research associate in the Department of Political Science, University of Pretoria, highlights the important issues around this year’s poll, including the “born-frees” voting for the first time, questions about how President Zuma’s popularity would hold up, Mandela’s legacy, and the emergence of two new political parties, Agang SA and the Economic Freedom Fighters, “on the eve of elections”.
What is clear from this fifth national election is that there is a realignment of power structures both internal to party structures as well as in the way that the electorate has responded to what were previously perceived as traditional voting constituencies. For all political parties the lessons learnt from this election is to not under-estimate the sophistication of the electorate. But more importantly, the lesson drawn from this election is that voters will use their vote to demonstrate their frustrations against inefficiencies, poor governance, unfilled promises, and lack of service delivery.
McKinley, on the other hand, focuses on what he calls “a directly proportionate relationship” between the ANC’s loss of numbers and the “stay away ‘vote’”.
No sooner had the final results of the recently concluded 2014 national elections been announced than President Zuma gave a predictably self-congratulatory speech lauding the result as “the will of all the people”. The reality however is that the ANC’s victory came from a distinct minority of “the people”. The real ‘winner’, as has been the case since the 2004 elections, was the stay away ‘vote’.
- Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon?: Africa and China by Sanusha Naidu and Kweku Ampiah
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