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Zuma: no surprises in South Africa under new ANC government
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09:33, April 27, 2009

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There will be no surprises in South Africa under the new ANC government, its leader and president-elect Jacob Zuma said on Saturday after the Independent Electoral Commission (IEC) announced the 2009 election results.

"There will be no surprises in the next administration's program of action," he said after the IEC declared a landslide ANC victory in which the party secured 264 parliamentary seats.

The African National Congress (ANC) fell short of obtaining a two thirds majority at the polls by a minuscule margin.

When asked how he felt that his party had not reclaimed its two-thirds majority, Zuma said it was not a disappointment.

"Now that the election is over we must enter a new era of hope and progress. We must enter a period where we bury mistrust, uncertainty, pain and tension and begin a new chapter of harmony and collaboration," he said.

Zuma thanked all ANC supporters, while reaching out to those who had cast their ballots in favor of an opposition party.

African National Congress (ANC) leader Jacob Zuma gestures during the announcement of the official results of South Africa's election in Pretoria April 25, 2009. South Africa's ruling ANC won a huge victory in the country's election but fell short of the two-thirds of votes needed to ensure a parliamentary majority big enough to make sweeping constitutional changes unchallenged. Official results of the election, which will see Zuma becoming South Africa's president on May 9, showed on Saturday that ANC won 65.9 percent of the vote.(Xinhua/Reuters Photo)

He assured the nation that his party was committed to every word it had uttered during the election campaign and that it was serious about improving quality of service and appointing competent government employees.

"We will be tough on non-performance," he pledged.

Despite speculation from many camps that there could soon be changes to the Constitution, he said it was not under threat, and had never been.

With a high voter turnout and a record number of voters registered, the 2009 elections will largely be remembered as one of the most exciting, Zuma said.

South African President Kgalema Motlanthe, who took over the reigns from Mbeki, was in a jovial and relaxed mood as he told the nation he was "very happy" the elections went well.

Motlanthe urged South Africans to stay involved in politics beyond the elections, and even beyond political parties.

Motlanthe urged the incoming administration to stay in touch its constituencies once in government.

Source: Xinhua

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