South Africa’s ruling ANC holds onto lead in national vote


But fixing South Africa's stagnant economy may prove more complicated.

During a meeting with the press, ECSA president Sy Mamabolo said that several people were arrested for having voted twice, a criminal action punishable by 10 years in prison, and that agency will conduct an audit of the results to confirm whether more facts of that kind occurred.

And now lawmakers have agreed to set up a committee that will write and introduce a new bill for land expropriations.

Opposition parties made widespread allegations of corruption against the ANC a major part of their campaigns ahead of Wednesday's election.

President Ramaphosa assumed office in February a year ago, following the resignation of former President Jacob Zuma. There is now a commission looking into high-level corruption under the Zuma administration.

The result is a setback for President Cyril Ramaphosa, who replaced Mr. Zuma a year ago.

In recent years the South African economy has moved into recession and annual growth has remained below two percent.

"All party members are 100% behind him", he said at the national elections centre in Pretoria. 19 more parties than 2004. The ANC is nearly certain to remain in government in all the eight provinces it controls, including Gauteng.

However, many voters stayed loyal to the ANC.

The ruling Zanu-PF party has sent a delegation to observe the elections with its sympathies solidly behind the ANC - a sister liberation movement.

Explosion near Sufi shrine in Lahore, Pakistan kills 5
Sunni extremists view Sufism with hostility and have carried out attacks on Sufi celebrations and shrines across the Muslim world. According to initial police reports, the blast targetted a van carrying the Elite Force of Punjab Police, Geo news reported.

The Ipsos study suggests that in a low voter turnout scenario, ANC voters seem more committed to vote and that the party support will increase notably.

Most opinion surveys suggest the ANC will secure almost 60 percent of the vote on Wednesday, thanks to the Ramaphosa effect and a weak fragmented opposition. Vote counting continued Thursday May 9, 2019 after South Africans voted Wednesday in a national election that pits President Cyril Ramaphosa's ruling African National Congress against top opposition parties Democratic Alliance and Economic Freedom Fighters, 25 years after the end of apartheid.

Around 770, 000 South Africans were expected to cast their special vote between yesterday Monday and Tuesday (May 6 - 7), an opportunity that was approved by the electoral body to enable those who may be unable to cast their ballot on election day.

Nelson Mandela and the African National Congress (ANC) were swept to power with a landslide in the country's first multi-racial polls that marked the end of apartheid in 1994. Latest results show the DA retained power in Western Cape. The EFF is much closer to the ANC (hence majority blacks) in terms of policy and should easily overtake the DA whose origins and membership is largely white and elitist.

It could embolden the supporters of former president Jacob Zuma, who was pressured into resigning last year after years of corruption scandals.

Mr Zuma faces trial on numerous charges of corruption, but has denied any wrongdoing.

The party is reportedly banking on "Ramaphoria", voters' loyalty to Ramaphosa, despite senior leaders' skepticism of what his reforms could mean in practice.

In his address to parliamentarians during a courtesy call at the Pan African Parliament, the head of the AU Election Observer Mission to SA and former Tanzanian President Mr Jakaya Kikwete commended South Africans for competing in peace saying it should be a lesson for other African countries.

The Democratic Alliance (DA) lost some ground to the Freedom front Plus - which is a right-wing party looking to establish a homeland for white farmers. The only way the ANC could be removed from government is by another deal between the DA and EFF.