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South African government calls for unity after polls
Monday May 12, 2014 8:51 AM, IANS

All South Africans should unite behind a common goal of moving the country forward now that the divisive political battles have ended with the conclusion of the 2014 general elections, the government said Sunday.

South Africans voted Wednesday to elect the new National Assembly and provincial legislatures.

The government applauds all the political parties for the spirit of national unity which prevailed during the elections, Xinhua quoted Phumla Williams, acting CEO of the Government Communication and Information System (GCIS) as saying.

The government made the appeal after final results showed that the ruling African National Congress (ANC) emerged as the winner in the elections with 62.15 percent of the votes, leaving far behind the biggest opposition Democratic Alliance (DA) which got 22.23 percent of the votes.

"During this time, government appeals to everyone to celebrate responsibly and within the law," Williams said in a statement. The elections were hard fought and contested with remarkable political maturity and tolerance, she said.

The elections have served to renew and strengthen the country's democracy, she added.

"We are pleased by the great turnout in particular first time voters. Statistics from the IEC (Independent Electoral Commission) show that more people than ever before have chosen to exercise their right to vote," Williams said.

The remarkable turnout of young voters bodes well for the South African democracy, she said.

"We are inspired by the overwhelming number of young people who came out to vote across the country. This is a clear indication that the future of South Africa is in good hands," Williams said.

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