With results reported from more than 95 percent of polling districts, the ANC had just under 70 percent of the parliamentary vote, assuring President Thabo Mbeki a second term.
The New National Party, which presided over half a century of white minority rule, was dealt a heavy blow in South Africa’s third all-race election. Party support had already tumbled from 20 percent in 1994 to just under 7 percent in 1999. Now, with less than 2 percent, it appeared destined to be little more than a regional party.
South Africa’s last white president, F.W. de Klerk, expressed disappointment Thursday in his former party’s showing, saying the country remained mired in the past.
However, an alliance between the New National Party and its former ANC foes could still give the party a role in the next national and Western Cape provincial governments.
The new president will be sworn in April 27, the day South Africa celebrates a decade of multiracial democracy.