South Africa’s African National Congress (ANC) has been returned to office after winning parliamentary election, but with a reduced majority.
The ANC secured 58% of the vote, ahead of the Democratic Alliance (DA) on 21%. The radical Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF), came third with 11%.
A struggling economy and corruption have eroded the ANC’s popularity.
ANC leader, President Cyril Ramaphosa, called on the people to build a united South Africa.
In his victory speech, he said the result showed that South Africans still had faith in the ANC – in power since 1994 – to deliver.
“Let us now work together, black and white, men and women, young and old, to build a South Africa that truly belongs to all who live in it as proclaimed by our forebears,” Mr Ramaphosa told supporters in Pretoria.
He called for a South Africa “which is united, which is non-racial, which is non-sexist, democratic and prosperous”.
The BBC’s Will Ross says the ANC may not be too disheartened by the reduced majority.
He says that although its support has dropped, this was not a disastrous performance and some might even be tempted to call it a fairly successful exercise in damage limitation considering the ANC’s corruption scandals and the slow progress in tackling poverty.
Turnout was about 65% in the twin parliamentary and provincial elections – a drop compared to the 73% registered five years ago.
It was the first time the ANC’s share of the vote has fallen below the 60% mark and it will now have 19 fewer seats in the 400-member parliament. BBC