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Wednesday, 22 April 2009

South Africa - Elections 2009

IECSouth African flagSouth Africans voted today in the national and provincial elections. According to the IEC (Independent Electoral Commission), an 80% voter turnout was expected, therefore indicating that South Africans regard their right to vote as a serious matter.

The courts also decided that South Africans living abroad, who were already registered, were allowed to vote too.

I voted around 10h00 this morning at a busy voting station and stood in line for about two hours to cast my vote. People were enthusiastic which was a pleasure to see. This is also the first election which was free of violence and intimidation. No serious incidents were reported.

I'm a big believer that everyone must exercise their right to vote to ensure a democracy is maintained. The first democratic elections in South Africa was held in 1994 when Nelson Mandela was elected president. The ruling party, the ANC (African National Congress) is expected to win which means the party leader, Jacob Zuma, will become South Africa's newest president.

The big question is, will the ANC get a two-thirds majority or not? If they do, they will have the power to amend the constitution. A scary thought. Let's hope that's not the case!

The main opposition parties are the Democratic Alliance (DA) and the Congress of the People (Cope). Here's a list of the rest of the parties on the ballot.

Update - 25 April 2009 - Election results

Jacob ZumaAs expected, the ANC won by a big margin ( 65.9% of national vote) but fell short of the two-thirds majority which would have given them the power to change the constitution unopposed. The DA will be the main opposition party with 16.7% of the votes, up from the 12.8% percent in the last general elections in 2004. The ANC therefore losing ground since the last election. COPE came in third with 7.4% of the national votes.

Helen ZilleOn provincial level, the ANC lost control of the Western Cape (where I live) with the DA winning outright with 51.4%. This will see DA party leader, Helen Zille, become the Premier of the Western Cape. She will relinquish her role as Mayor of Cape Town since she's not allowed to hold both positions at the same time. Incidentally, she was voted the world's best mayor in 2008.

ANC leader, Jacob Zuma, will be elected as president on 6 May and the inauguration will be on 9 May at the Union Buildings in Pretoria.

Related news:
Elections 2009 - News24
Elections 2009 - IOL

3 comments:

  1. The IFP received 4.55% of the national votes. Traditionally they were the most popular in the Kwazulu Natal province but they lost out during the 2009 elections because the ANC leader, Jacob Zuma, is a zulu which definitely influenced voters in that region, causing the ANC to win.

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