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South African parties making tentative seat predictions
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13:44, April 25, 2009

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By Li Jianmin

By Friday evening South African political parties were getting a picture of how their support at the ballot box translated into seats in the National Assembly and provincial governments.

The final result can only be accurately calculated once the Independent Electoral Commission makes a final declaration. However, parties were number crunching to see what they could expect.

Congress of the People spokesman JJ Tabane said the new party was expecting to get 32 to 40 seats in the national legislature. "We think we can make a difference with 40. We can be present in all meaningful portfolio committees and select committees," he said.

Asked how many seats he was hoping for, United Democratic Movement leader Bantu Holomisa said simply, "I don't know." He said he would have liked to have gained on the nine that he had in2004.

The Inkatha Freedom Party said it was expecting to get 20 seats, after getting 28 in 2004.

Koos van der Merwe said on the one hand it was disappointed that it was likely to lose eight or 10 seats. On the other hand it was a "change for the good" as the quality of representatives was high.

"Those who come will be an excellent team and we will do so well this year," he said.

The Pan Africanist Congress said that according to its calculations it hoped to get two seats, after the three it gained in the last election. It was also confident it would get seats in the Eastern Cape, Gauteng and Limpopo legislatures.

Founder of Great Kongress of South Africa, Vinesh B Chutergoon, said he was hoping to get a seat in the national legislature.

The Independent Democrats said they were hoping to get four or five seats, but would not be happy with this outcome as they originally hoped to get 12. In 2004, they got seven.

The Christian Democratic Alliance would not be "getting too many" seats but said their leadership was in talks about the way forward for the party.

The African People's Convention said so far it looked like it would get one seat, although it had originally hoped for three. The party's secretary general Malesela Ledwaba said: "I think history will judge us well."

The United Christian Democratic Party said that according to results released thus far, it expected to get two seats nationally(it previously had three) and two in the North West legislature.

The party said it was surprised and disappointed with results as it had hoped to get five percent representation nationally and win the North West province.

The New Vision Party, which took part in provincial elections in Gauteng, Limpopo and Eastern Cape, said it was not expecting to get a seat although "change" was still possible until counting was completed.

Looking into the future the party said "we want to rule the country".

A-Party leader Anthony Penderis said there was "no chance" his party could get a seat. He said when coming into the election the party had hoped for two or three seats.

Al Jama-ah party said it was "fighting" to obtain seats in the Western Cape, KwaZulu-Natal and Gauteng legislatures.

The Democratic Alliance was hoping for 64 or 65 seats, an improvement on their previous total of 50.

The Freedom Front Plus was hoping to retain its four seats, and after a poor showing overseas with only 270 votes, the party said it would concentrate on getting at least one million people to register overseas for the election.

The African National Congress, which had 279 seats, would need267 seats for a two thirds majority.

Source: Xinhua

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