South Africa awaits the announcement of who will be its next leader.

CAPE TOWN, South Africa (Reuters) – The African National Congress is expected to give a first indication of its response on Wednesday following the election last week that ended the party’s 30-year reign as the majority and plunged South Africa in political uncertainty unprecedented during the democratic era.

The ANC will hold a press conference at noon (1000 GMT) but is not expected make any announcements about coalition plans, as they have yet to determine their position.

Since Nelson Mandela brought it to power at the 1994 elections, which marked the end of Apartheid in South Africa, voters have punished the party for persistent poverty, joblessness, rampant criminality, corruption, and frequent power outages.

The ANC’s news conference will provide clues as to what the future holds for voters, politicians and the financial markets.

The ANC will choose a candidate that can steer the country in a variety of directions. From the free-marketeer Democratic Alliance to the Marxist Economic Freedom Fighters, there are dozens of other parties in the mix.

In a note to the media, it was stated that the announcement would be about the National Executive Committee meeting (NEC), which “will take place this week”, implying that the meeting has been postponed. The meeting had originally been planned for Wednesday.

The NEC will be the place where the most senior members of the party try to reach a consensus about which parties to work and what type of deal to offer.

A spokesperson for the ANC responded to a question about whether the NEC had been delayed by re-sending a note regarding the press conference. It was unclear how much later the event would start, but it did not begin on time.

‘DA DEAL GETS SUPPORT

A senior ANC official stated that “an organised section” of the party would push for a deal to be made with the EFF, and uMkhonto we Sizwe(MK), a former Jacob Zuma-led party. However, they were outnumbered in favouring a deal between the DA and the EFF.

The official who was not a member of the NEC but familiar with discussions on the highest level said that “the centre and probably most of the ANC internal in the NEC” sees the value of DA’s deal, because it gives us a Cabinet and a great deal of power.

The official, a staunch supporter of the party’s leader, President Cyril Ramaphosa said that he would remain in his post, even if some NEC member broke ranks and demanded his resignation.

The ANC’s options for a national government include a formal coalition or a confidence-and-supply deal whereby one or more parties agree to support it on key votes like the budget, in return for a role in some policy and legislative work.

The ANC official who declined to be identified said, “It appears that it will be a hybrid agreement.”

“We’ll give some to DA… The DA won’t get everything it wants. The DA is unlikely to get Speaker of Parliament.

Sources said that the NEC was unlikely to quickly resolve the national government issue.

The source stated that “it is more likely that the NEC would beef up the negotiation team and give them the mandate to look at one or two options, and to state if there was a preference for this or another way. Because if you’re negotiating, you don’t put your cards out on the table.”

According to the media note, the news conference will also discuss the results of the Tuesday discussions held by a working group internal and the selection process for ANC provincial premier candidates.

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