South Africa: the formation of the coalition government is not easy South Africa: the formation of the coalition government is not easy

South Africa: the formation of the coalition government is not easy

South Africa: the formation of the coalition government is not easy

President Ramaphosa has said parliament will open for the next term on July 18, as he remains locked in negotiations with the Democratic Alliance, the second largest party, to form a cabinet before then. 

In South Africa, talks to iron out the final details of a unity government and appoint a cabinet have been ongoing for two weeks, with political parties struggling to find common ground on how to distribute ministerial posts and portfolios. 

In a letter from the South African head of state to John Steenhuisen, leader of the Democratic Alliance (DA), Ramaphosa accuses the DA of "moving the bar" by increasing its demand from six to eight ministerial posts, thus jeopardizing the coalition agreement. 

For its part, the DA claims the ANC has failed to deliver on its promise to allow it to take control of the important trade and industry ministry.

Cyril Ramaphosa and John Steenhuisen also met face-to-face in recent days.

The questions underscore analysts' warnings that a coalition bringing together the ANC and DA to govern South Africa would be complicated. 

The ANC was the ruling party and the DA was the main opposition party for more than 20 years before the May 29 elections. Their two parties oppose each other and have radically different ideologies.

Although eight smaller parties have also joined the coalition, the ANC and DA remain the main protagonists. The success of this brand new government therefore depends on their ability to find common ground.

The ANC and DA reached an agreement to work together in a coalition on June 14. This union allowed Ramaphosa to be re-elected by lawmakers for a second term as president.

Both parties had said the coalition would mark the beginning of a new era of political unity that would help address the country's vast socio-economic problems, including some of the highest rates of inequality and unemployment in the world.

But the delay in announcing a cabinet and setting up a new government is tarnishing this "new era of political unity".

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