South Africa's ruling African National Congress has taken the lead in the country's parliamentary election, initial poll results showed Thursday.
PRETORIA – South Africa's ruling African National Congress (ANC) has taken the lead in the country's parliamentary election, initial poll results showed Thursday.
The ANC garnered 62.1 percent of the vote from 10,690 voting districts against only 23.7 percent for the opposition Democratic Alliance (DA), according to the Independent Electoral Commission (IEC).
The ANC picked up 4,288,669 votes, the DA 1,641,497 votes, the Economic Freedom Party 318,132 votes and the Inkatha Freedom Party (IFP) 158,740 votes, the IEC said.
According to the commission, the total number of valid votes from the voting districts counted so far stands at 6,904,547, while spoilt ballots numbered 100,174.
The IEC put voter turnout at 72.74 percent, based on votes counted so far.
Since vote counting began late Wednesday night, the ANC has maintained a sizable lead.
The Congress of the People (Cope), which was expected to come in at fourth place, is trailing in the polls, suggesting the party – founded by breakaway ANC members in 2008 – had lost considerable public support.
The IEC says it expects most of the ballots from the country's 22,263 polling districts to be counted by late Thursday.
More than 25 million South Africans were eligible to vote in Wednesday's poll to elect 400 National Assembly members and the members of nine provincial parliaments.
It was South Africa's fifth democratic election since the end of apartheid in 1994, when the nation's blacks were first allowed to vote.
The poll comes nearly five months after the death of Nelson Mandela, anti-apartheid hero and the country's first black president.
The new parliament will elect a new president.
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