Twenty-seven political parties raise formal objections over #Elections2019

Pretoria – Twenty-seven political parties raised formal objections with the Electoral Commission of SA (IEC) over the 2019 general elections and are calling for an independent audit.

In a letter the parties said that they have taken note that the IEC was “willing to conduct an audit on its own, by virtue of the veracity of these complaints received”.

The parties said the complaints related to the elections cast “serious doubts” as to the credibility of the whole election process and the outcome. 

“There are various instances of people who voted multiple times. The full extent of this will never be known no matter how much sampling is done,” the letter read. 

“The people accused of this and incarcerated for it are more than likely victims of political bullying and abuse. Voting stations opened late and one not at all.” 

The parties are Forum 4 Service Delivery; African Content Movement; International Revelation Congress; African People’s Convention; Ecoforum; Better Residents Association; CPM; SA National Congress of Traditional Authorities; Women Forward; Land Party; ATM; PAU; SRWP; Alliance for Transformation; Cope; African Renaissance Unity; African Security Congress; SANCOTA; AASD; Compatriots of South Africa; NPA; IRC; NAPF; PAC; PRM; and African Covenant. 

Other grievances included voting stations running out of ballot papers and people being asked to return at a later stage or go to a different station; indelible ink pens not working or could be rubbed off easily; voting districts that had scanners that did not work or no scanners at all.

According to the parties, ballot papers were not stamped at the back; people were given different configurations of ballot papers; presiding officers assisting people to vote without any third-party present; unmarked ballot papers; and special votes used a system that utilised two envelopes and some three or four. 

“We are instructed that these issues were also formally raised with the IEC via thousands of formal complaints from across the length and breadth of the Republic of South Africa,” the letter read. 

The IEC said after receiving the complaints it would conduct a quick audit. 

The parties said they were not satisfied that the IEC was conducting the audit. 

“Our clients accordingly are of the view that the IEC is compromised insofar as the objectivity of any audit processes concerned and therefore hereby demand that the IEC by 11am on 11 May 2019, appoints an independent audit firm to conduct the audit it needs to do,” the letter read.

“Should the IEC not agree to an independent audit, we hold instruction to approach the Electoral Court for, amongst other things, an order to compel the IEC to appoint an independent audit firm to conduct an audit of the 2019 general elections and to refrain from declaring the outcome of the election.”