South Africa's African National Congress (ANC) led by Jacob Zuma will lead the country for the fourth term following a landslide election victory.
The final results announced at the Independent Electoral Commission (IEC)'s center in Pretoria on Saturday showed that the ANC was set to dominate the national assembly, as well as most provincial legislatures.
The ANC had, based on the high number of its votes, secured 264 seats in the National Assembly (parliament), but fell short of a two-thirds majority, as had been previously held by the party. It also won 126 seats on the national provincial list.
Led by Helen Zille, the Democratic Alliance (DA) retained its official opposition position with 67 seats in the National Assembly and 16 provincially.
The Congress of the People (COPE), which broke away from the ANC in the latter half of 2008, garnered 30 seats in the larger legislature and 16 provincially.
African National Congress (ANC) leader Jacob Zuma arrives for the announcement of the official results of South Africa's election in Pretoria April 25, 2009.(Xinhua/Reuters Photo)
The Inkatha Freedom Party (IFP) took a knock at this year's polls with 10 seats less the 28 it received in the 2004 election. It obtained 18 seats in the National Assembly and nine in the provincial legislature.
The United Democratic Movement (UDM), the Freedom Front Plus (FFP) and the Independent Democrats (ID) each received four seats in the National Assembly and three on the provincial list.
This means both the UDM and the ID will have less voice in parliament than their last term, while the FFP will remain in the same position.
With a high voter turnout and a record number of voters registered, the just-ended elections will be remembered as one of the most exciting.
The latest polls were opened amid the emergence of COPE, which at its inception was seen as the first real threat to the ANC's rule in the post-apartheid South Africa.
The vote was declared free and fair despite the highly charged political atmosphere, months after former President Thabo Mbeki was sacked following the ANC's deeply fractious leadership battle and the lingering power struggle against Zuma.Source: Xinhua