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South African general election: Counting underway; ruling ANC leads

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The preliminary results in South African general election suggest that the ruling African National Congress (ANC) will retain power, albeit with a reduced majority.

With about a quarter of votes counted, the ANC has won 54.81 per cent of the ballot, standing well ahead of the Democratic Alliance (DA) with 26.30 per cent of votes, reported Xinhua.

The Independent Election Commission in South Africa (IEC) said in a statement that voting on Wednesday progressed smoothly in most areas "despite isolated incidents where voting operations were adversely affected by inclement weather, community unrest, power outages and some logistic challenges".

The decline in vote share of the ANC was predicted owing to several reasons. In the 2016 local elections, the party had faced a steep decline in support, and it lost some key cities to opposition parties. It also faces widespread apathy among voters born after apartheid, known as the born-free generation.

Incumbent president Cyril Ramaphosa, who assumed power last year, has promised to crack down on corruption prevalent in the ANC.

South Africa has a parliamentary system of government. The national assembly consists of 400 members.

The final results will be announced on Saturday.

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Thu, May 09 2019. 19:54 IST