South Africa’s election body appeals for “calm” while tallying votes

The Electoral Commission of South Africa (IEC) asked for “calm” as it counted votes in the country’s election, despite rumors that the African National Congress (ANC) party had lost its legislative majority.

“This is a critical moment that we must manage effectively. We are grateful to have come this far with all of you. Don’t become fatigued. “We are not done yet,” said IEC Chairperson Mosotho Moepya in a statement on Saturday.

With more than 99% of votes tabulated Saturday, the once-dominant ANC had received little more than 40% of those cast Wednesday, falling far short of the majority it had held since the famous all-race vote of 1994, which abolished apartheid and brought Nelson Mandela to power.

The independent electoral commission in charge of the election has yet to formally declare the final results.

The commission stated at the beginning of the election that the results will be publicly declared by Sunday, although this might happen sooner.

While opposition parties welcomed the outcome as a watershed moment for a country grappling with profound poverty and inequality, the ANC remained the largest party by some margin.

However, it will most likely need to find a coalition partner or allies to stay in government and re-elect President Cyril Ramaphosa for a second and final term.

Following the national elections, Parliament elects the South African president.

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