Cope pleased with reaching 1 million mark

Friday, April 24, 2009
By: 
Chris Bathembu

Pretoria - The Congress of the People (Cope) is "extremely delighted" to have achieved more than a million votes in the 2009 General Elections.

Earlier this morning, the 129-days-old breakaway party, formed on 16 December 2008, recorded over 1.3 million votes as results continue to come in from the voting districts at the Independent Electoral Commission's (IEC's) Results Operation Centre in Pretoria.

The party is currently third in terms of votes received, with the Democratic Alliance receiving 2.3 million votes and the ANC reaching the significant milestone of 9 million votes a short while ago.

"We are delighted. We couldn't have achieved a better mark, especially considering that we are less than 130 days old," Cope's spokesperson Sipho Ngwema told BuaNews.

Meanwhile, Cope has indicated that it will lodge at least ten complaints with the IEC relating to the unavailability of ballot papers at certain poling stations on Wednesday evening.

As the elections drew to a close, voters flocked to the polling stations in their numbers, causing long queues and a shortage of voting material in some districts.

Presiding officers scrambled to supply polling stations with voting material. All stations closed at 9pm. However, all voters who were in the queue at the time were allowed to vote.

These challenges led to counting getting off to a late start in some voting districts.

Parties have until 9pm tonight to lodge an objection with the IEC and it is only then that the commission can officially announce the election results.

IEC Chairperson, Dr Brigalia Bam and the Commission's Chief Electoral Officer Advocate Pansy Tlakula are expected to brief the media at midday regarding the issuing of final results and other matters relating to the elections.

Various election observers have commended both South Africans and the IEC for a smooth election which was described as "free and fair."