Results from nearly two-thirds of voting districts in South Africa’s election put the African National Congress on course to retain power but heading for its worst performance in a national poll in its 25 years in government.
The former liberation party of Nelson Mandela has not won less than a 60 percent vote share since it swept to power in South Africa’s first all-race election in 1994, marking the end of white minority rule.
As of 1840 GMT on Thursday, ballots in 64 percent of 22,925 voting districts had been counted. The early tallies put the ANC on 57 percent in the parliamentary race, with the main opposition Democratic Alliance (DA) on nearly 23 percent and the leftist Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) on nearly 10 percent.
Based on those results, analysts predicted the ANC was set for a vote share of between 55 and 59 percent.
“The ANC result is going to be lower because of voter turnout, which could be the lowest at any parliamentary election since 1994,” political analyst Melanie Verwoerd said.