ANC Wins 5th Election in South Africa

Jacob Zuma's party holds on, but misses two-thirds majority
By Neal Colgrass,  Newser Staff
Posted May 9, 2014 5:22 PM CDT
ANC Wins 5th Election in South Africa
South Africans queue to vote at a polling station that was burned down overnight, but a tent was erected to vote at in the morning, in Bekkersdal, South Africa, Wednesday, May 7, 2014.   (AP Photo/Ben Curtis)

The party of President Jacob Zuma today coasted to its fifth consecutive election victory in South Africa, but missed a two-thirds majority and saw the main opposition party gain some ground, the Guardian reports. With more than 99% of votes counted, the African National Congress had 62.2% (a 3.7-percentage point drop), confirming Zuma's second five-year term. But the Democratic Alliance—often dismissed as white-controlled and reminiscent of apartheid politics—grabbed 22.2%, up from 16.6% in 2009, with the party claiming it had 1.1 million new followers, including 700,000 blacks.

Among the also-rans, the new Economic Freedom Fighters came in third with 6.3%, and Agang SA imploded with a mere fraction of a percentage point. Its leader, Mamphela Ramphele—a kindred spirit of black-consciousness figure Steve Biko—apparently ruined her party's chances by agreeing to be the presidential candidate for the Democratic Alliance and publicly kissing its leader. The African Union observer mission called the election "free, fair, transparent, and credible," but the nation's election commission is looking into four complaints from opposition parties, Al Jazeera reports. (More South Africa stories.)

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