All systems go for announcement of election results

Disgruntled smaller parties demonstrated at the Results Operation Centre in Tshwane on Thursday, but the IEC has made it clear it will oppose any attempt to interdict the announcement of the declaration of the results.
Disgruntled smaller parties demonstrated at the Results Operation Centre in Tshwane on Thursday, but the IEC has made it clear it will oppose any attempt to interdict the announcement of the declaration of the results.
Image: Sebabatso Mosamo/Sunday Times

It is unlikely that the announcement of the 2019 national and provincial elections results will be halted or postponed.

This after the Independent Electoral Commission (IEC) wrote to disgruntled political parties who had sought to interdict the announcement saying their demands, including that the elections be rerun, were unreasonable and unlawful.

PODCAST: Smaller parties suspect fraud

“The commission noted that only it was empowered by law to adjudicate on the outcome of elections, declare the outcome and announce results,” the IEC said on Saturday, hours before the scheduled announcement.

“Aggrieved parties had ample recourse to raise objections through the normal objection process and, if still unsatisfied, to appeal decisions of the commission in court.”

The political parties felt the elections were marred by irregularities which rendered them neither free nor fair.

The irregularities mentioned were, among others, the issue of the ink which was said to not be permanent and the suspicion that there were people who managed to vote more than once.

The police said on Friday night that the 22 people arrested on suspicion of voting more than once were actually nabbed before they could complete the voting process.

According to the police, some of them had started the process of voting for the second time but the verification processes stopped them in their tracks when IEC staff noticed that they had already voted at other stations.

“The commission is satisfied with the integrity of its systems. Additionally, the commission has further instituted an independent technical assurance process involving a random sample of 1,020 voting districts to be conducted by the statistician-general and is awaiting the findings of this process. Based on the findings and all other complaints and objections received, the commission will make a decision on the outcome of the elections later today,” said the IEC.

Fairly low voter turnout and a few parties’ growth were the highlights as the IEC officially declared the results of the 2019 elections on 11 May 2019.

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