A government less hostile towards Morocco?

A government less hostile towards Morocco?
A government less hostile towards Morocco?

A month after the holding of the legislative elections on May 29, South Africa has a new government. The African National Congress (ANC), the party of President Cyril Ramaphosa, retains the lion’s share with twenty ministries. The Democratic Alliance (AD), the second political force in Parliament, inherits six ministerial posts while the other small parties have shared the six ministries that remain in the new executive.

“As constituted, this Government of National Unity shows that the negotiations were difficult, notably between the ANC and AD, in addition to the five other parties. But in the end, the ANC recovered almost 60% of the portfolios while it only received 40% of the votes in the last elections,” noted, in statements to Yabiladi, the academic and specialist in Africa Rachid Benlabbah.

“The ANC retains control of the majority of important ministries such as Foreign Affairs, Defence, Finance, Electricity and Energy, Trade and Industry, as well as the vice-presidency. For its part, the Democratic Alliance has obtained ministries such as Internal Affairs, Agriculture, Public Service and Infrastructure.”

Rachid Benlabbah

The Polisario on the reserve, what about Morocco?

“In this configuration, it is unlikely that the ANC will be subject to direct influence, exercised by the other parties concerning defence policy and foreign policy for example,” the specialist indicated.

The new South African government has seen the departure of Naledi Pandor from Foreign Affairs, a major supporter of the Polisario. His successor is Ronald Lamola, also from the ANC. “The choice of a lawyer can presage a continuity of foreign policy. Lamola was at the head of the Department of Justice and he especially led his country’s trial against Israel at the International Court of Justice,” he stressed. What should not be forgotten is that “the ANC draws a parallel between Palestine and Polisario,” the academic analyzed.

“We will have to wait for the announcement of the general declaration of the government and the investiture speech of the Minister of Foreign Affairs” to get an idea of ​​the line of Moroccan policy towards South Africa under the new government of national unity.

Nevertheless, Rachid Benlabbah does not rule out a long-term role for the Democratic Alliance, aiming “to influence the foreign policy followed by South Africa since 2004, so that it is less inflexible towards partners that this same ANC regards with suspicion” including Morocco. South Africa recognized the “SADR” in 2004.

As with Ramaphosa’s re-election on June 14 and his inauguration on June 19, the official Polisario media ignored the announcement of the composition of the new South African government.

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