ANC scores record election victory

The African National Congress has won nearly 70% of the vote, according to results from more than 60% of counted ballots.

President Thabo Mbeki's party has left its rivals far behind

With results still to come in, the party has scored its biggest electoral victory in 10 years of power in post-apartheid South Africa.

President Thabo Mbeki’s party clinched a two-thirds majority in the elections, surpassing its strong showing of 66% in 1999 and 64% in 1994, when Nelson Mandela led the party to victory in the country’s first democratic polls.

After 61.2% of the total number of registered votes were counted, the ANC was miles ahead of its rivals at 69.6% the Independent Electoral Commission announced on Friday.

However, the commission added, turnout appeared to be around 75% the estimated 21 million registered voters – a figure far lower than those of the previous two democratic elections.

Trailing far behind in second place was the white-based Democratic Alliance with 13% of Wednesday’s vote – also a gain from its showing in the previous elections.

In third place, the Zulu nationalist Inkatha Freedom Party (IFP) won 5.8% of the vote although its fate hinged on the outcome of the race in its stronghold of KwaZulu-Natal province, the Zulu heartland in the country’s eastern coast.

The United Democratic Movement, led by former ANC heavyweight Bantu Holomisa, got 2.9%.

The New National Party, the heir to the National Party which led apartheid South Africa for 50 years, was seen as the big loser in the elections, garnering just 1.9% of the vote, the independent electoral commission said.

The NNP won 20% in the 1994 elections but has been on a steady decline since.

Source: AFP