South African President Jacob Zuma has led the African National Congress (ANC) to a commanding victory in South Africa’s general election, according to provisional results released by the country’s electoral commission yesterday.
Nigeria’s President Goodluck Jonathan has congratulated Zuma on the ANC’s victory.
With all the votes counted, the ANC won 62 per cent, the Democratic Alliance placed a distant second with 22 per cent of the vote, while four other parties split the rest. The electoral commission said voting passed off peacefully in most areas, with turnout at just over 73 per cent.
The millions of voters who participated in last Wednesday’s election were charged with electing 400 members of Parliament, as well as representatives in new legislatures in South Africa’s nine provinces.
The provisional result shows the ANC’s main rival, the Democratic Alliance (DA), took 22.22 percent, while the ultra-left Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) managed 6.35 percent.
To win the fifth national elections, the party received 11 436 654 votes, which was less than the 11 650 748 votes (65.9 %) it received in 2009. Its support in Gauteng, the economic heartland of the country, decreased from 64.04% in 2009 to 53.63%, the party’s worst provincial performance in 2014.
The Democratic Alliance (DA) increased its support nationally from 16.66% in 2009 to 22.22% (4 089 043 votes), while the Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) garnered the third highest support with 6.35% (1 160 208 vote). Among the worst performers was the Congress of the People who had polled 7.42% in the last general elections, but decreased to a mere 0.67% (123 221 votes) this time around.
The elections are the first since the death in December of Nelson Mandela, the country’s first black president. Those born after the end of apartheid in 1994 were able to cast their ballots for the first time, although only a third of those entitled to do so had registered to vote.
Meanwhile President Jonathan’s congratulatory message was contained in a statement issued by his Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Dr. Reuben Abati.
“On behalf of himself and the federal government of Nigeria, President Goodluck Ebele Jonathan congratulates President Jacob Zuma and his party, the African National Congress on their resounding victory in the South African general elections,” the message said.
“President Jonathan welcomes the ANC’s victory, with over 60 per cent of the votes cast in the election to the South African Parliament and provincial legislatures, as an affirmation of the enduring popularity of President Zuma and the party of Nelson Mandela, Oliver Tambo and other great heroes of the anti-apartheid movement, as well as a reaffirmation of the confidence of the majority of the people of South Africa in the ability of the ANC government to progressively achieve more inclusive national economic development and prosperity.”
According to the message, President Jonathan believes that the ANC’s fifth consecutive victory at national polls are a well-deserved tribute to the Madiba, whose contributions to the emergence of a non-racist and truly democratic South Africa, remain legendary.
Jonathan proclaimed his desire to continue to work with Zuma and his ANC government to further strengthen the cordial and mutually-beneficial relations between Nigeria and South Africa, especially in the area of bilateral trade and investments, the statement said.
The statement further noted that the Nigerian president believes that under the continued leadership of the ANC, Nigeria and South Africa would keep on working together with others for the attainment of greater peace, political stability, economic development and progress in all parts of the African continent.