Democracy for a bargain: The 1999 election in KwaZulu‐Natal
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While the IFP/ANC race for first place in KwaZulu-Natal was the closest of any in the country, the 1999 election was both freer and fairer than ever before, and the result was readily accepted by all parties. In short, the 1999 election further consolidated both the institutions and culture of liberal democracy. Importantly, this consolidation was predicated in an understanding reached between the IFP and ANC that, whatever the outcome of the election, they would co-operate in government at both national level and in KwaZuluNatal. In so doing, the stakes of the election were lowered, making a free and fair election not just more affordable but also desirable so as to legitimate future governance. This deal is further confirmation of the trend in KwaZulu-Natal politics away from the ethnically couched confrontational styles of the transition years towards a more ideologically inclusive and co-operative politics. This trend, along with the basic patterns of party affiliation, suggest that KwaZuluNatal is no more unique politically than any other province in South Africa.