- Title: SOUTH AFRICA: Election results show new opposition party makes minimal impact
- Date: 26th April 2009
- Summary: PRETORIA, SOUTH AFRICA (APRIL 24, 2009) (REUTERS) INTERIOR OF ELECTORAL CENTRE HEAD OF INDEPENDENT ELECTORAL COMMISSION (IEC) ADDRESSING NEWS CONFERENCE INSIDE CENTRE (SOUNDBITE) (English) BRIGALIA BAM, HEAD OF THE INDEPENDENT ELECTORAL COMMISSION (IEC), SAYING: "We are happy though in giving you this update of what we have done so far. Most of you have been watching it and most definitely it's going to be completed by this evening. This means that the IEC may declare the results of the 2009 national and provincial elections by tomorrow, pending on resolution of the objections." IEC OFFICIAL LISTENING JOURNALISTS TAKING NOTES CONGRESS OF THE PEOPLE (COPE) PARTY PRESIDENT MOSIOUA LEKOTA BEING SHOWN RESULTS CLOSEUP OF MOSIOUA AND COPE OFFICIAL (SOUNDBITE) (English) MOSIOUA LEKOTA, COPE PRESIDENT, SAYING: "The Congress of the People has made history. It will take a very long, long time for anybody to equal this performance. I might even draw attention also to the fact that parties that have already been in existence for more than five years, they have not done as well as what we have done. So we are humbly, we are humbly grateful to the people of the country who have listened to what we have to say. Having considered that immediately realised that this is the party of the future and placed their confidence in the Congress of the People." LATEST RESULTS ON SCREEN VARIOUS OF FORMER FIRST LADY ZANELE MBEKI WATCHING RESULTS ZANELE MBEKI WALKING AROUND THE ELECTION CENTRE PEOPLE WATCHING ELECTORAL OFFICIALS WORKING ON COMPUTERS DURBAN, SOUTH AFRICA (APRIL 24, 2009) (REUTERS) (*** FLASH PHOTOGRAPHY ***) VARIOUS OF AFRICAN NATIONAL CONGRESS (ANC) SUPPORTERS GATHERED IN STREET SUPPORTERS CARRYING COFFIN WITH DEMOCRATIC ALLIANCE (DA) POSTER ANC VICTORY CAKE SUPPORTERS SINGING AND DANCING ANC LEADERSHIP TOASTING WITH CHAMPAGNE ANC SUPPORTERS CHEERING AS TICKER TAPE FALLS MORE OF OFFICIALS TOASTING SUCCESS WITH CHAMPAGNE WIDE VIEW OF SUPPORTERS SINGING AND DANCING IN STREET
- Embargoed: 11th May 2009 13:00
- Location: South Africa
- Country: South Africa
- Topics: Domestic Politics
- Reuters ID: LVAAYE36QCQPLVQMSDZIKNTZVDRT
- Story Text: South Africa's electoral commission said on Friday (April 24) it is set to release the final tally of the 2009 elections that have been won by the ruling ANC.
"We are happy though in giving you this update of what we have done so far. Most of you have been watching it and most definitely its going to be completed by this evening. This means that the IEC may declare the results of the 2009 national and provincial elections by tomorrow, pending on resolution of the objections," announced Brigalia Bam, the head of the Independent Electoral Commission (IEC).
With the African National Congress holding 66.26 percent of the vote after 90 percent had been counted, it was just short of the two-thirds majority it needs to change the constitution, a scenario of some concern to markets.
Despite the failure of a party of ANC dissidents to make a dramatic impact, the ANC had less than the nearly 70 percent of the vote it won in 2004 and appeared to have lost control of the Western Cape province, centre of the tourist industry.
A reinvigorated opposition hoped to curb the majority to below two-thirds, but for many voters the ANC's credentials from the fight against white minority rule still outweigh its failure to tackle crime, poverty and AIDS.
The Congress of the People (COPE), formed by politicians who broke from the ruling party, had won less than 7.5 percent.
"The Congress of the People has made history, it will take a very long long time for anybody to equal this performance," said Mosiua Lekota, former defence minister and COPE founder.
The ANC's closest rival was the Democratic Alliance (DA) -- led by a white woman -- with almost 16.2 percent. The DA pulled ahead of the ANC in the Western Cape province, which is currently controlled by the ANC.
Celebrations are already underway in various cities across the country after the ANC took a dominating lead in an election that will install Jacob Zuma as president and put him under immediate pressure to deal with a faltering economy and improve the lives of the poor.
Thousands of ruling party supporters danced into the night to celebrate the ANC's success after facing its toughest opposition challenge since the end of apartheid in 1994.
Election officials estimated the turnout at 76 percent, the same as in 2004. Observers from the 15-nation Southern African Development Community and African Union said on Friday the election was free and fair.
- Copyright Holder: REUTERS
- Usage Terms/Restrictions: None