South Africa's ANC Claims Election Win
The ruling African National Congress (ANC) has claimed victory in South Africa's general election.
"The ANC is going to rule this country for the next five years," the party's Treasurer-General Matthews Phosa told thousands of cheering supporters at a victory party in Johannesburg to celebrate a big win in parliamentary elections.
Preliminary results show that the ANC is just short of holding onto its two-thirds parliamentary majority.
With 90 per cent of the ballots from Wednesday's election counted, the ANC was leading with 66.3 per cent, putting the party extremely close to the two-thirds majority that leader Jacob Zuma said he wants. That majority would enable him to make constitutional changes and enact major budgetary changes without being challenged.
Parliamentarians elect South Africa's president by a simple majority, putting Zuma, 67, in line for the post when the new assembly votes in May.
Final results from the election are expected on Saturday once objections have been submitted, according to Brigalia Bam of the Independent Electoral Commission.
Briefing the media at the results centre in Pretoria on Friday, Bam said the counting of votes of two provinces had been completed.
These were Eastern Cape and Northern Cape, with 4483 and 626 voting districts respectively.
While results were expected "by tomorrow [Saturday]", Bam said twelve objections had been submitted and which the commission needed to look into before the final results were announced.
The objections were raised by the Congress of the People, Inkatha Freedom Party and the Democratic Alliance.