Smaller parties stage a protest at IEC results centre

Leaders of smaller opposition parties, including Mzwanele Manyi, staged a demonstration at Results Operation Centre in Tshwane, where counting of votes for the 2019 National and Provincial Elections is still underway.
Leaders of smaller opposition parties, including Mzwanele Manyi, staged a demonstration at Results Operation Centre in Tshwane, where counting of votes for the 2019 National and Provincial Elections is still underway.
Image: Sebabatso Mosamo

Smaller political parties are calling for a re-run of the national general elections following allegations of irregularities during the national elections that took place this week.

The parties have raised 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.

Mzwanele Manyi, the leader of African Transformation Movement (ATM) said the parties were not happy with the entire elections. “The parties that are here are not convinced that the trajectory we’re on is the trajectory that is going to deliver a free and fair elections,” said Manyi.

“For us it is a crucial issue that the issue of the ink is the fundamental issue that is undermining the credibility of these elections. As an example, myself, I have voted... as you can see my left thumb is it gets, so therefore, if I had wanted to go and vote anywhere else, nothing stops me from doing that.”

The parties also said they believed the numbers, so far, which showed the top three parties ANC, DA and the EFF leading, were not a true reflection of the results.

“Over and above evidence that there has been irregularities governing these elections, there is a clear political programme to lead for a government of a national unity between political parties linked to the agenda of white monopoly capital, and these political parties are the ANC, DA and the EFF,” said BLF deputy president Zanele Lwana.

“We are seeing here a ridicule of parties aligned to an agenda of radical economic transformation, of parties who have fashioned themselves to have confronted white monopoly capital.

"The results that we see on this board make a ridicule of all the work we have done as so-called smaller parties. So we are very dissatisfied with the irregularities but there is a political programme to alienate dissenting voice who speak against the status quo in this country.”

Opposition parties raised their concerns regarding the eligibility of the 2019 election as well as the media coverage of their campaigns.

However, political analyst Somadoda Fikena 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”.

“Where you have a clear case of irregularities that can change the outcome it’s when opinion polls something and you dramatically see something else, then there you have something,” said Fikeni.

The IEC had earlier said it would conduct an audit of results and votes cast to ascertain if double voting occurred.

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