politics

S. Africa's ANC Said to Discuss Bringing Elections Forward

Updated on
  • Ruling party considering shorter timeline to 2019 polls
  • Ramaphosa has raised investor confidence since taking power

South Africa’s ruling party, the African National Congress, is discussing the possibility of bringing forward elections set to be held next year, according to three people familiar with the talks.

The ANC is considering the move amid a wave of positive sentiment following the rise of Cyril Ramaphosa as president of Africa’s most industrialized country. He succeeded Jacob Zuma, who was pushed out of office early this year by his own party following a string of scandals that roiled financial markets and cost the party votes in a 2016 municipal poll.

Ramaphosa broached the topic of shortening the timeline before elections during a meeting of the party’s National Executive Committee, or NEC, in Cape Town on Friday, according to three officials who requested anonymity because the discussions have not been made public.

The NEC has scheduled a press conference at 4 p.m. local time in Cape Town on March 25, on the outcome of their meeting. Pule Mabe, an ANC spokesman, didn’t immediately return a message seeking comment.

South Africa escaped a third junk rating Friday as Moody’s Investors Service kept its assessment of the nation’s debt unchanged, citing more transparent and predictable policies under Ramaphosa. The ANC is experiencing increased investor confidence dubbed ‘Ramaphoria’ in the wake of his rise to the top post.

— With assistance by Paul Burkhardt

(Updates with time of press conference.)
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