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First democratic election 20 years ago

April 27, 2014 - SOUTH AFRICA

The southern-most nation on the African continent held its first democratic election 20 years ago on 27 Apr 2014, and the fourth democratic election will be held in 2014 near the same date.

In 1994, turnout was incredible. Long lines of voters, some queuing for hours, delivered a decisive victory for the once-banned African National Congress (ANC). Shorter lines at the polls in 2014 might be read as a sign that voter patience with the government and with President Jacob Zuma is wearing thin. The government has shown little ability to improve the lives of the majority or ease unemployment and endemic crime. Nonetheless, an upset is deemed unlikely. Divisions within the opposition are hampering its ability to mount a viable challenge to the ANC. The country will elect members of the 400-seat assembly and provincial legislatures.

Former anti-apartheid activist forms new party (Irish Times 19 Feb 2013)

Ramphele's political U-turn (Mail & Guardian 22 Feb 2013)

What Zuma's victory means for South Africa (BBC 19 Dec 2012)

Date written/update: 2013-11-20