DA snaps up overseas ballots

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Pretoria - Initial results indicate that the Democratic Alliance (DA) has snapped up most of the overseas ballots cast in the 2009 General Election.

Over 9000 oversees votes had been counted at the Independent Electoral Commission's Results Operation Centre by this afternoon.

Early counting indicates the DA had clinched 7581 votes, followed by new kid on the block, the Congress of the People (Cope) with 918 votes and the African National Congress (ANC) with 673 votes.

More than 16 000 South Africans living overseas voted in a special vote on 15 April at missions abroad.

Commenting oh her party's positive showing, DA leader Helen Zille said she was pleased with the results so far. She further added there were a lot of skilled South Africans who wanted to return home.

"There are many skilled passionate people abroad. They re looking for good diplomacy," she said.

The party which had instituted legal action to have expats given the opportunity to vote while abroad, the Freedom Front Plus, only managed to clinch 270 of the oversees votes.

"I'm a bit disappointed because we fought for it [for expats to cast their votes]," party leader Mr Pieter Mulder told BuaNews.

Around 17 000 South Africans had registered to vote on 15 April. The voting station with the highest number of registered voters was the London with7472 followed by Canberra (Australia) with 1235.