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Supporters of political party Rise Mzansi attend a protest march calling for the delivery of basic services in the Western Cape ahead of the general election in Cape Town, South Africa May 22, 2024.

REUTERS/Nic Bothma

Viewpoint: As South Africa's democracy turns 30, Mandela's ANC faces toughest election yet

South African voters will decide on May 29 whether to give another five-year mandate to the African National Congress, the political party that helped bring about the country’s transition to multi-racial democracy in 1994 and has ruled ever since.

Amid intense scrutiny of the ANC’s 30-year record – especially its failure to address economic problems and an electricity supply crisis – the polls show the party at risk of losing its parliamentary majority. Contributing to its woes is the reemergence of Jacob Zuma, a controversial former president and party leader, who is supporting a new political formation threatening to steal votes from the ANC.

We sat down with Eurasia Group’s Ziyanda Stuurman to learn more about the upcoming vote.

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Andre Ventura, the leader of the party, is casting his vote to elect the new Prime Minister of Portugal at the Parque das Nacoes school in Lisbon, Portugal, on March 10, 2024. Pre-election polls are indicating that the Democratic Alliance (AD) is the likely winner of the legislative elections.

Nuno Cruz/NurPhoto via Reuters

Winning isn’t everything in Lisbon

Portugal’s election over the weekend had two winners.

The mathematical winner: the center-right Democratic Alliance, which took 79 seats in the 230-seat Parliament, eking out a narrow victory over the left-leaning incumbents of the Socialist Party, with 77.

The zeitgeist winner: the far-right Chega party, which quadrupled its seats to 48. Chega, which means “Enough!” is fiercely anti-immigration and has adopted the “God, Country, Family, and Work” slogan of Portugal’s former dictatorship.

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