(Johannesburg) The 400 deputies elected to the legislative elections in South Africa meet on Friday in Cape Town during a first session at the National Assembly which promises to be stormy and must end with the election of the country’s next president.

South Africa held the most contested election since the advent of democracy in the country in 1994 at the end of May. The African National Congress (ANC), in power since the end of apartheid, obtained only 40% of the votes. . Without an absolute majority, the historic party is now forced to form alliances to form the next government.  

“The first session of the National Assembly will be held on Friday June 14 at 10 a.m.” (4 a.m. Eastern time), declared the president of the Constitutional Court, the highest court in the country, quoted Monday in a ministry press release of Justice.

In South Africa, voters choose their MPs according to a proportional list system. The newly elected National Assembly then appoints the President of the Republic.

According to the Constitution,  the President of the Assembly, his vice-president as well as the President of the Republic must be elected during the first parliamentary session following the elections. Barring any surprises, the next South African president should therefore be designated on Friday.  

Current President Cyril Ramaphosa, 71, is aiming for a second term. But uncertainty reigns over the form that the next government will take and the content of the negotiations underway since the announcement of the election results on June 2.  

The ANC now only has 159 seats compared to 230 in the outgoing Parliament. The leading opposition party (Democratic Alliance, DA) won 87 seats on the basis of a liberal program.  

The radical left-wing Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) won 39 seats by promising sweeping reforms such as black land redistribution and nationalization of key economic sectors. While the party of the sulphurous ex-president Jacob Zuma, uMkhonto weSizwe (MK), has become the third force in the country, with 58 seats.

Amid speculation about possible alliances to form a coalition government, Ramaphosa called last week after a marathon meeting of the ANC’s powerful national executive committee (NEC), to the formation of a government of national unity.  

Referring to the formula found at the end of apartheid with the formation of a government uniting South Africa’s first black president Nelson Mandela and the country’s last white president Frederik de Klerk, Cyril Ramaphosa called on all parties ranging from the far right to the far left to “work together.”  

“A stable and effective government, committed to economic reforms, will build an inclusive economy and economic growth for all that will benefit all South Africans,” he wrote in his weekly letter to the nation on Monday.

The proposal for a national unity government received a cold reception, particularly from the EFF. Provocateur Julius Malema’s party has rejected the idea of ​​joining forces with rivals such as the DA, citing the impossible rapprochement of opposing views.  

The largest opposition party, which during the campaign had not completely closed the door to a rapprochement with the ANC, for its part continued internal discussions during the weekend to define a final line.  

But the idea of ​​a rapprochement with the DA has caused splits within the ANC, with some considering that an agreement with the party, which notably advocates the privatization of entire sections of the public sector, would be in total contradiction with the policies social services of the ANC.  

The MK for its part affirmed that its elected members will boycott the first parliamentary session. The party, which announced its intention to file a legal action, contests the validity of the results of the legislative elections and denounces irregularities.  

Parliament said in a statement that it had “cancelled all arrangements relating to accommodation and flights for elected members” of MK, in a bid to “avoid unnecessary expenditure and waste”.