ANC not sold on call for election re-run

ANC head of elections Fikile Mbalula says the party is not keen on a re-run.
FIKILE MBALULA ANC head of elections Fikile Mbalula says the party is not keen on a re-run.

The ANC is not convinced that the call for a re-run of the elections by smaller political parties is justified.

A few political parties, including African Transformation Movement and Black First Land First, staged a protest at the IEC Results Operations Centre on Thursday to call for a re-run of the elections.

They were protesting that the general elections which took place this week were marred by irregularities that brought into doubt their fairness.

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Among other things, the political parties mentioned concerns about complaints by voters that the special ink that electoral officers put on thumbs of voters was easily removable and made it easy for some people to vote more than once.

ANC head of elections Fikile Mbalula rejected the call for a re-run.

“How do you want the elections to be overturned? Will the things that you want materially affect the outcome even if we were to re-run?” asked Mbalula, whose party is the front-runner in the elections.

He said the ANC would be more justified to call for a re-run but they were not.

“If the ANC says I am affected I need a re-run in Bloemfontein where all voting stations were washed away by the rain, people in Botshabelo, strong base of the ANC, did not vote but the IEC did not extend the hours. We can’t say that.

“I mean the fact of the matter is that these are huge elections since 1994, we have  encountered some of these challenges in the elections and IEC through the PLC [Party Liaison Committee] we have been able to handle issues and that is what is important for everybody to abide by,” said Mbalula.

Political analyst Somadoda Fikeni said it was unlikely that the elections would be re-run as the four people arrested after being suspected for voting twice was not enough to sway the votes in any way.

“It’s unlikely because when you say system has weakness you are not saying I found one person who has these particular problems. All elections do have these challenges, the key thing is would they have changed the outlook of the elections?” Asked Fikeni.

He said the opinion polls that were conducted prior to the elections “were already signalling what the projections are, what the trends are and this outcome is not too far from those”.

In rejecting the call for a re-run of the elections, the Economic Freedom Fighters said they still had confidence in the IEC.

“We can’t cast aspersions on a very important institution," said EFF secretary general Godrich Gardee.

The IEC had not responded to questions by the time of publishing.

Voters and politicians have said the indelible ink placed on the left thumbs of voters could easily be removed using cleaning products. IEC officials have said it is possible to vote more than once but doubts it would influence the election outcome.

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