South Africa’s Democratic Alliance May Work With Ex-ANC Members

May 23 (Bloomberg) -- South Africa’s main opposition party, the Democratic Alliance, said it may form several local government coalitions with a group that split from the ruling African National Congress.

The party is in “preliminary talks” with the Congress of the People to jointly govern as many as eight municipalities where it didn’t win an absolute majority, DA Federal Executive Chairman James Selfe said in a phone interview from Cape Town today. The DA took 23.9 percent of the vote in the May 18 local government election in Africa’s largest economy.

“If you look at the election arithmetic, COPE would be our preferred coalition partner in a number of municipalities,” Selfe said.

COPE, formed in 2008 by a group of ANC dissidents, saw its share of the vote plummet to 2.2 percent from 7.4 percent in 2009. The ANC’s majority slipped to 62 percent from 65.9 percent as the white-dominated DA continued to chip away at the governing party’s political dominance.

The DA won outright control over 18 municipalities and is the largest party in a further 11.

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To contact the editor responsible for this story: Andrew J. Barden at