Counting in final stretch

Friday, April 24, 2009

Pretoria - It's the final stretch of counting at the Independent Electoral Commission's results centre with over 77 percent of the ballots already counted and verified.

Ballot counting in the country's fourth democratic election is expected to be completed by midday today.

With over 12 million of the votes already counted and released, all indications point to a landslide victory for the ruling African National Party (ANC) which nationally has so far clinched 8 634 630 votes.

The Democratic Alliance (DA) is tailing with 2 030 398, set to retain its status as the official opposition party in the country.

New kid on the block, Congress of the People, has made a significant impact on the political dynamics of the country, having seemed to have taken votes from the smaller parties such as the PAC, ID, UDM and the ACDP. Cope stands at 987 680 on the leader board.

The party could be the official opposition in at least five provinces - the Eastern Cape, Limpopo, Free State, North West and the Northern Cape.

The ANC has swept to victory and is set to govern in eight of the country's nine provinces, except the Western Cape.

In the Western Cape, the DA is laying claim to the premiership of the province. With around 100 voting stations still remaining to the counted there, the DA has so far clinched 51.31 percent of the vote, the ANC 31.12 percent, Cope 7.81 percent. Patricia de Lille's Independent Democrats (ID) is in fourth place, getting only 5.59 percent of the vote in the province so far.

The Independent Electoral Commission said it would only announce official results and the voter turnout at the weekend.