FF Plus: Party coalitions rising
Cape Town - Opposition party coalitions could become a bigger feature of local government politics after May 18, Freedom Front Plus leader Pieter Mulder predicted on Wednesday.
Speaking at a parliamentary media briefing exactly one week ahead of South Africans going to the polls in the country's third municipal elections, he said this depended on turn-out.
"If all opposition voters [turn out] to cast their votes... and ANC voters stay away from the polls, for the first time certain metro councils, and a number of local councils, can be governed by coalitions."
Analysts and observers have speculated in recent weeks on the extent to which traditional ANC voters, dissatisfied with service delivery in certain areas, might withhold their vote come election day.
In the 2006 municipal elections, the ruling party captured an overwhelming majority of the 283 councils up for grabs.
Mulder said that up to now, coalitions had not worked because the ANC was so strong.
"I think that after this election, for the first time, in certain areas, we'll see coalitions operating, giving political power to smaller parties."
He also warned about opposition parties creating what he called "unrealistic expectations" among their supporters.
"I'm worried about unrealistic expectations created by [opposition] political parties that might have short-term gain, but, in the long run... cause disappointment when the results come in," Mulder said.