Leaders anxious at IEC results centre

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Pretoria - Political party leaders present at the Results Operation Centre (ROC) on Thursday morning continue to anxiously watch the IEC's leader board as early results trickle in.

The mood is one of nervousness and both African national Congress (ANC) Secretary-General Gwede Mantashe and Democratic Alliance (DA) leader Hellen Zille, present at the IEC's nerve centre, don't want to say too much as yet on the early results.

This is despite a trend that is emerging that the ANC may retain it solid majority while the DA is still showing its opposition status.

Political analyst Somadaka Fikeni agrees it is still too early to make any conclusive statement about the results.

"What we are seeing here is that while the ANC is still ahead, both Cope and the DA are making huge progress behind the ruling party," Mr Fikeni told BuaNews.

The latest results show the ANC at just over 2 million votes nationally followed by the DA with just close to 700 000 votes. The new kid on the block Cope stood at 277 000.

Mr Fikeni said the DA's "vigorous campaign" may have paid off especially among white voters.

Whether Ms Zille's strategy managed to woo black votes is still debatable, added Mr Fikeni.

The latest provincial results were still showing that the DA may well be on its way to rule the Western Cape, it's leading with 352 000 votes in that province while the ruling party was sitting at 179 000 followed by Cope at 51 000.

According to Mr Fikeni the latest results could be an indication that Cope may well become an official opposition party in three to five provinces.

He said while the ID is still doing very well, "The UDM and IFP are on the decline".

"As for liberation movements like AZAPO and PAC, its all about survival," Mr Fikeni said.

As the results continued to trickle in, various political leaders were making their way into the ROC, but there is still yet no sign of Cope leaders.