Voting completed to elect new President

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06-5-2009
By  Bathandwa Mbola

Parliament - Voting has been completed in the National Assembly to elect South Africa's new President.

Parliament has since adjourned while ballots are being counted.

Since there was more than one candidate nominated for the position, a secret ballot had to take place. Members of Parliament were called in alphabetical order according to their surnames to cast their votes.

Newly elected MP Winnie Madikizela-Mandela, who represents the African National Congress (ANC) nominated Jacob Zuma, while Mbhazima Shilowa from the Congress of the People (Cope) nominated their leader Mvume Dandala. Both the nominations were seconded.

The Democratic Alliance MPs which has 67 seats abstained from voting.

The process got underway with Chief Justice Judge Pius Langa presiding over the parliamentary proceedings.

The voting process was such that when members' names were being called to cast their vote, they collected their ballot paper from the voting table and proceeded to the ballot booth where they made a cross against the name of the candidate of their choice.

While still in the booth, they then folded the ballot paper in a way that ensured the mark they made was invisible.

After the Assistant Returning Officer noted the mark; members then deposited their ballot in the ballot box.

The Chief Justice will around 4pm announce the new President of the Republic. A 50 percent plus one vote is required for the President elect to be accepted.

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