South Africa's National Party, which has ruled for 26 years, was back in power Thursday (25 April), faced with a divided, but possibly more dynamic opposition.
South Africa's National Party, which has ruled for 26 years, was back in power Thursday (25 April), faced with a divided, but possibly more dynamic opposition. For the seventh successive time since 1948, the Nationalists were heading for an easy victory. With 154 of the 169 contested seats counted they held 109 with the main Opposition party holding 39 seats and the Progressive Party six. Two seats in the 171 member Parliament were not contested because of the deaths of two United Party candidates. Both the Prime Minister, Mr. John Vorster and the leader of the Progressive Party, Mr. Colin Eglin ... for whose party the results were a major triumph ... described the election as heralding a new era in South African politics. But a spokesman for the United Party, which lost ground to both the other parties saw a polarisation of views in the country and a dangerous weakening of opposition forces. Mr. Vorster said the results were a clear indication of support for his party's policy of separate development -- or apartheid.