Cope down, but not out

Congress of the People (Cope) president Mosiuoa Lekota is satisfied with his party’s performance in the 2011 local government elections.

As results of the local government elections streamed in it became increasingly obvious that this election was becoming a war between the African National Congress and the Democratic Alliance. The Mail&Guardian asked smaller parties what they thought about the possibility of coalitions and if they thought South Africa was becoming a two-party state.

Speaking at a press conference at the election centre in Pretoria on Friday, Lekota said the results proved that Cope was a national party that had secured seats in various municipalities across the country.

According to the latest results from the Independent Electoral Commission at 8.30pm on Friday, the party had received a total of 701 322 votes or 2,23% of the national vote.

This had resulted in the party obtaining 251 seats on various municipalities across the country.

“Cope did not go into this election at full strength. We have proven that Cope has a presence and a foothold across the nation.”

Lekota said he was “satisfied” with the party’s performance, but that “we would like to see the Congress of the People in a stronger position than it is”.

He referred to the leadership battles with Mbhazima Shilowa, saying that a number of candidates had failed to register on time as candidates while they awaited the outcome of a Cape High Court challenge to Lekota’s leadership. – Sapa

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