7 November 2012
South African President Jacob Zuma has congratulated Barack Obama on his re-election as president of the United States of America.
“We value our relations with the United States and look forward to strengthening bilateral cooperation in the years to come,” Zuma said in a statement shortly after Obama addressed the US early on Wednesday morning following confirmation of his victory at the polls.
Zuma said that the US had an important role to play in Africa’s development. “South Africa is confident that the United States will continue to play a positive role in this regard,” he said.
Obama beat a strong challenge from Republican Mitt Romney to win a second term at the White House.
In a tweet to supporters, Obama said: “This happened because of you. Thank you,” as crowds cheered outside the Democrats’ Chicago headquarters ahead of his victory address.
Obama was projected to have won several key swing states, including Ohio, Pennsylvania, Wisconsin, Iowa, Nevada and New Hampshire, with Romney winning only North Carolina. Florida and Virginia remained too close to call.
The relentless battle for the swing states gave Obama at least 290 electoral votes, while Romney had just 201 shortly after midnight.
Obama easily grabbed a host of “deep blue” states, including California, Illinois and New Jersey, while Romney prevailed in the “deep red” states of Texas, Kentucky and Georgia.
While Obama supporters had already started celebrations of his re-election, Romney conceded defeat.
In addition to the massive task of tackling US$1-trillion annual deficits and reducing a US$16-trillion national debt, Obama will have to deal with a divided US Congress that is likely to maintain the same partisan makeup in his second term in the White House.