The Sunday Mail
The African National Congress (ANC) has won South Africa’s fifth democratic election by a significant, albeit reduced, majority, according to figures released by the local Independent Electoral Commission (IEC) last night. The party managed 62,2 percent of the vote ahead of the official opposition Democratic Alliance (DA), which came in second with 22,2 percent of the votes.
The Julius Malema-led Economic Freedom Fighters polled 6,35 percent of the vote.
The result guarantees a second five-year term for incumbent President Jacob Zuma. International observers — including the African Union and Sadc — declared the election credible, free and fair. According to preliminary findings by international observers, spread across the Southern African state’s nine provinces, the elections represented a reflection of the people’s choice. The African Union observer mission yesterday gave the election a thumbs-up.
Head of the observer mission former Ghanaian president John Kufour was quoted as saying South Africa had staged a credible election.
“South Africa has set a bar so high and my advice to other countries would be to try and emulate South Africa,” said Kuffour.
“The countries should respect their own constitutions and accountability to the electorate and I believe this will make Africa progress peacefully.”
In a statement, the Sadc Electoral Observation Mission (SEOM) said the electoral process was transparent.
“We observed that despite some short-comings and concerns, such as the late opening of some of the voting stations, delay of the delivery of some voting materials, and sporadic incidents of violence, such short-comings and concerns are not of such magnitude as to affect the credibility of the overall electoral process,” read part of the statement released on Friday.
“Guided by the Sadc Principles and Guidelines Governing Democratic Elections, SEOM concludes that the 2014 National and Provincial Elections were peaceful, free, fair, transparent and credible, reflecting the will of the people of South Africa.”
Prior to the much-anticipated poll, International Relations and Co-operation Minister Maite Nkoana-Mashabane instructed foreign embassies to send only their ambassadors to observe the poll.
The South African government invoked the Vienna Convention to justify the decision.