Small parties take knock

Friday, April 24, 2009

Pretoria - Election results coming in at the Independent Electoral Commission's (IEC) results centre show some smaller parties taking a severe knock.

Parties experiencing a serious blow are the break-away parties and small political parties formed as a result of floor-crossing.

However, the newly formed break-away party, the Congress of the People (COPE) is the only party that appears to be doing relatively well, having clinched a million votes so far.

Liberation movements such as the PAC and the Azanian People's Organisation (AZAPO) are not showing an impressive performance - and might only get one seat each in the National Assembly.

The Pan Africanist Congress of Azania (PAC) splinter group, the Pan Africanist Movement (PAM) is staggering at 0.03 percent even though more than 77 percent of ballots have been counted.

Another small party which is taking a knock is the Alliance for Free Democrats (AFD) with 0.03 percent.

Themba Godi's African People's Convention Party (APC) which was formed 18 months ago through floor-crossing has 0.22 percent of the votes.

Independent election analyst, Dr Somadoda Fikeni told BuaNews that Cope will become the official opposition in the Eastern Cape, Limpopo, North West, Northern Cape and the Free State provinces.

He said while the fourth democratic elections continue to affirm the dominance of the ANC who brought liberation in the country, it has lead to a sever blow to smaller parties.

"Seriously these elections were a major blow to most small parties. Since running elections is becoming more expensive, most of these small parties will withdraw from active politics or they will decide to join giant political parties," he said.

Dr Fikeni is confident that the ANC will comfortably reach its two-thirds majority rule as a number of ballots are currently being captured from the rural areas, regarded as the ANC's strong-holds.

Speaking on behalf of the South African Democratic Congress (Sadeco), Prof Elizabeth Brown, attributed her party's poor performance to the confusion of the party's name that might have led to their voters to vote for the National Democratic Congress (Nadeco).

Sadeco, a break-away from Hawu Mbatha's Nadeco, has 0.04 percent, while Nadeco is at 0.06 percent.

"I am happy so far, but I am praying and putting my trusting in God that we get seats at the National Assembly and at the KwaZulu-Natal legislature," Prof Brown said.

PAC national election manager, Apa Pooe said although they are still below their 20 percent projection, he is happy with the votes they have received so far.

"We've slightly improved from our previous elections. As the PAC, we are confidant that we will get a seat for the first time in Limpopo," he said.