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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:South Africa's 1989 general election
Author:Friedman, S.
Periodical:Vierteljahres-Berichte: Probleme der internationalen Zusammenarbeit
Geographic term:South Africa
Abstract:The September 6, 1989, general election was widely seen as one of the most important in South Africa's history. It was the first time that the ruling National Party faced a significant threat from its right and a lesser threat from its left. Although the National Party lost 17 seats to the right-wing Conservative Party and 12 to the liberal Democratic Party, it did not lose its majority: the greater part of the white population is currently prepared to accept cautious reform of the apartheid system. At the same time elections were held to choose members of the two houses of Parliament in which the Indian and 'coloured' voters are represented. Here interest centred not on which parties would win, but on the size of the poll. Although the percentage of 'coloured' and Indian people who voted did increase slightly, it remained extremely low: a clear rejection of any political commitment within the narrow legal framework they have now been conceded. The decisive question for future political developments is whether the new government under F.W. De Klerk can both widen the political scope for blacks to become active and maintain at least the minimum necessary degree of internal stability. Sum. in German, p. 335, English, p. 339, and French, p. 343.