Political Parties, New National Party
New National Party, NNP, Democratic Alliance, election victory, National Party
The National Party (NP), founded in 1914, introduced apartheid after its election victory in 1948 and governed the country continuously until 1994. For most of this time it was largely an Afrikaner party, but attracted many white English-speaking people as well beginning in the mid-1970s. In the 1994 election campaign the NP portrayed itself as the “new” National Party with some success, winning about 60 percent of Asian and Coloured votes and 4 percent of black votes. It nevertheless generally sought to protect the interests of whites. The NP participated in a coalition government with the ANC until 1996, when it withdrew to become an opposition party after passage of the new constitution. Its representatives agreed to support the final constitution only after the ANC made it clear that compromises already struck on other issues would be jeopardized if they did not.
In 1998 the party officially changed its name to the New National Party (NNP). Support for the party waned by the 1999 election, in which it won only 28 National Assembly seats, about one-third the number it held previously. The NNP and the DP formed a coalition called the Democratic Alliance in 2000 to present a unified opposition to the ANC. However, in late 2001 the NNP withdrew from the Democratic Alliance and allied itself again with the ANC.
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