South Africa's ANC To Win General Elections
The ruling African National Congress (ANC) is tipped to win the general vote held on Thursday.
With most ballots counted, it had gained nearly 63% of the vote, according to data by the Independent Electoral Commission cited by Al Jazeera.
This is nearly three percent less than in 2009 and will prevent the party from a desired two-thirds majority.
The main opposition party, the Democratic Alliance, was far behind, with 21.84%, but up from the 16.7% it had in 2009.
The Economic Freedom Fighters, headed by ANC expellee Julius Malema, was third with 5.51 percent. Malema, who has adopted a harsher nationalist tone than his former party, is thought to have gained some support among those dissapointed ANC, where he previously led the youth wing.
Apart from being the fifth post-Apartheid vote, Thursday's elections were also the first for a generation which have not experienced life under the previous segregation system. It was also the first time citizens were going to the polls after the death of Nelson Mandela, the country's first black President and an international icon, in 1994.
Results of the ANC's victory come amid severe criticism at President Jacob Zuma, who has been accused of not doing enough to tackle South Africa's deepening economic problems. There have also been reports of USD 23 M worth embezzlement, as Zuma allegedly used money from a state-funded security to make improvements in his private home.
Zuma is now expected to have a second term, as the country's President is elected by Parliament and his appointment largely depends on the parliamentary status quo.
The ANC has managed to remain in power in South Africa since 1994.