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Preliminary results in SA elections reflect no big changes

Johannesburg | May 8, 2014, Thursday @ 13:26 in Editorial » ANALYSIS | By: Hajira Amla | Views: 2258
Preliminary results in SA elections reflect no big changes

Latest SA election results (News24, IEC South Africa)

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(Seychelles News Agency) - Political parties competing for votes in the 2014 South African elections have been hoping for big changes to come to national government, but preliminary results show that those changes may be further off than they had hoped.

With 6.2 million (an estimated 30%) ballot papers counted so far, results issued by South Africa’s Independent Electoral Commission (IEC) show that the ruling African National Congress, in power since 1994, has won 61.33% of the vote so far, with the Democratic Alliance (DA), the official opposition, gaining a 24.6% share of the vote.

In the 2009 national elections, the ANC enjoyed a 59.9% majority, denying them an outright majority by a very slight margin. The DA received 16.66% of the vote in 2009, and if the preliminary results remain steady throughout counting until the official results are announced, it is likely they will have consolidated their position considerably.

Almost 10,000 of South Africa’s 22,264 polling stations have so far reported their results, but results could still change quite drastically. None of the polling stations in the Central Johannesburg district have thus far delivered numbers, and the economic hub of South Africa could be set to deliver a few unexpected surprises.

The ANC’s hopes for a two-thirds majority have taken a battering, while the DA’s initial hopes to gain an substantial 30% were downgraded after a disastrous attempt at forming a coalition with Mamphela Ramphele’s newly-formed AGANG party, which has thus far only managed to gain 0.2% of the national vote.

Another hope of the ANC was to gain back control of the Western Cape Province from the DA, and campaigning this year and last has been a sore point for both parties in the wake of what the DA claimed was a determined effort by the ANC to encourage their supporters from the poverty-stricken Eastern Cape to move to the Western Cape and increase ANC figures in the province. ANC activists struck back last year with the infamous “poo protests” over a lack of adequate sanitation in various informal settlements across the Western Cape.

The biggest winner of the 2014 elections seems to be firebrand politician Julius Malema’s Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF), which has pushed other parties aside to take third place with 4.56%, although he had stated on Sunday that the EFF intended to win the national elections outright.

The biggest loser so far is the Congress of the People (COPE), which has slid down from 7.42% in the 2009 elections to only 0.81% this time around.

The 'Vote No' campaign, headed by South African anti-apartheid struggle veterans Ronnie Kasrils and Nozizwe Madlala-Routledge which called for citizens to use their vote to show their dissatisfaction with the ruling ANC, either through spoiling their ballot or tactically voting for smaller opposition parties, seems not to have had much effect, with only 1.42% of ballots counted as spoiled, slightly increased from 2009’s rate of 1.34%.

Voting proceeded smoothly on the 7 May election day, with no major reports of violence. Those born after the end of apartheid in 1994, popularly known as ‘born-frees’ cast their first votes, although only a third of 18- and 19-year-olds had registered to vote. Official results are expected to be announced no later than Saturday 10 May by the IEC.

 

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Tags: South Africa, ANC, elections

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