South African general election, 1989

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South African general election, 1989
South Africa
1987 ←
6 September 1989 (1989-09-06)
→ 1994

All 166 elected seats in the House of Assembly
All 80 elected seats in the House of Representatives
All 40 elected seats in the House of Delegates
  First party Second party Third party
  Frederik Willem de Klerk.jpg Andries Treurnicht.jpg Zach de Beer.jpg
Leader F. W. de Klerk Andries Treurnicht Zach de Beer (pictured), Denis Worrall and Wynand Malan
Party National Conservative Democratic Party
Last election 123 22 19
Seats won 94 39 33
Seat change Decrease29 Increase 17 Increase 14

Acting State President before election

F. W. de Klerk
National

State President

F. W. de Klerk
National

Za coa.gif
This article is part of a series on the
politics and government of
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Government
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The 1989 South African general election, held on 6 September of that year, was South Africa's last national race-based parliamentary election. The election was called early (no election was required until 1992) to gauge support for the recently elected head of the National Party, F. W. de Klerk (who was in the process of replacing P. W. Botha as the country's president) and his program of reform, which was to include further retreat from the policy of apartheid.

Although it still won an absolute majority, the National Party suffered an electoral setback, winning only 48% of the popular vote and 103 of the seats in the House of Assembly.

The official opposition Conservative Party (CP), who opposed any form of powersharing with other race groups, remained the official opposition with 41 seats and gained 31% of the votes.

Before the elections the liberal Progressive Federal Party (PFP) had dissolved itself and regrouped as the Democratic Party (DP), which went on to take 34 seats.

House of Assembly (White)[edit]

Party Votes % Seats
Directly-elected Additional Total +/–
National 1,039,704 48.2 94 9 103 –21
Conservative 680,131 31.5 39 2 41 +19
Democratic Party 431,444 20.0 33 1 34 +15
Herstigte Nasionale Party 5,416 0.2 0 0 0 0
Independent 898 0.0 0 0 0 0
Invalid/blank votes 10,336
Total 2,167,929 100 166 12 178 +11
Registered voters/turnout 3,120,104 69.5
Source: IPU

The White Chamber of Parliament had 178 members, 166 of whom were directly elected (including a seat from Walvis Bay, which was added in 1981) with 8 Members indirectly elected by the directly elected members on the basis of proportional representation and 4 nominated by the State President (one from each province).[1]

The results of the election were interpreted by the government (based on support for the NP and the DP together) as a mandate from the white electorate to forsake the apartheid system and seek a compromise with the African National Congress and its leader Nelson Mandela.

House of Representatives (Coloured)[edit]

Party Votes % Seats
Elected Appointed Total +/–
Labour Party 171,930 65.0 69 5 74 –2
Democratic Reform Party 39,741 15.2 5 0 5 +5
United Democratic Party 19,261 7.6 3 0 3 +3
Freedom Party 1,949 0.7 1 0 1 0
Independents 24,705 9.4 2 0 2 +1
Invalid/blank votes 2,861
Total 261,047 100 80 5 85 +5
Registered voters/turnout 1,439,112 18.1
Source: IPU, African Elections Database

House of Delegates (Indian)[edit]

Party Votes % Seats
Elected Appointed Total +/–
Solidarity 58,216 37.6 16 3 19 +2
National People's Party 38,523 24.9 8 1 9 –9
Democratic Party 10,427 6.7 3 0 3 +3
National Federal Party 8 058 5.2 1 0 1 +1
People's Party of South Africa 6 064 3.9 1 0 1 +2
United Party 2 712 1.8 0 0 0 0
Merit People's Party 2 078 1.3 3 1 4 +4
Progressive Independent Party 1 497 1.0 0 0 0 –1
Freedom Party 703 0.7 2 0 2 +2
Republican Party 701 0.7 0 0 0 0
Independents 24 157 15.6 6 0 6 +2
Invalid/blank votes 1,388
Total 154,524 100 40 5 45 +5
Registered voters/turnout 663,604 23.3
Source: IPU, African Elections Database

References[edit]