Thirty-five parties storm out of IEC audit briefing

Thirty-five parties storm out of IEC audit briefing

Picture: Twitter/ @RekordNewspaper. Pretoria Rekord

The ‘coalition of the wounded’, comprising parties who have done badly in this year’s elections, has grown from 30 to 35.

Thirty-five independent political parties on Friday said that the elections in South Africa were not free and fair, calling for a proper and independent investigation.

“The media in various briefings and questions already proved that this election is not free and fair — it is irregular and not transparent,” the parties said in a media statement.

They said that the Electoral Commission of SA (IEC) publicly admitted that there have been irregularities and that some people have been arrested.

“With that being the case, there is a clear indication that there is due course not to continue this process without a proper and independent investigation,” the parties said.

“Thirty-five political parties across the full political spectrum are part of this collective. The IEC has already labelled us as disgruntled, we in the strongest terms object to this because we represent millions of South Africans from all walks of life.”

The parties said it had submitted a grievance letter on Thursday. They demanded an independent audit and a rerun of the elections.

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It was reported on Thursday that a group of 30 smaller political parties at the results centre in Pretoria were feeling disgruntled amid evidence from the IEC’s voter count that only eight parties had so far received more than half a percent of the vote.

A record 48 parties appeared on the ballot this year, and most of those who have no hope of winning a seat in the National Assembly or a provincial legislature gathered at the results centre expressed their disdain about the results and the electoral process.

They even wanted the whole counting process to stop and elections to be held again. They have vowed to head to court to achieve this and appear to be led by the ATM’s Mzwanele Manyi.

The DA’s Mmusi Maimane has, however, called on the country to give the IEC’s audit process a chance before making a determination on the integrity of the elections.

The smaller parties have also slammed the media for allegedly not giving them as much exposure as the bigger parties, and even for calling them “smaller parties”.

Black First Land First (BLF), the African Content Movement (ACM), the Socialist Revolutionary Workers’ Party (SRWP), the Land Party, the APC, Eco-Forum, Woman Forward, Patriotic Alliance, the African Transformation Movement (which has won at least one seat) and many others said they would together fight their battle in court, as they claimed to have evidence that they had been discriminated against and have refused to accept the outcome of this election.

The BLF’s deputy leader, Zanele Lwana, alleged that the party’s poor performance was somehow linked to a conspiracy involving “white monopoly capital” and the bigger parties.

The parties have expressed amazement that the Freedom Front Plus could have done as well as it has while new black parties have not.

“We are not 100% satisfied with the result,” they told journalists.

The group wants South Africa to treat allegations against the IEC that there were “massive flaws” in this election seriously, and agree with them that the 2019 national and provincial elections were neither free nor fair.

They warned the EFF not to act like it was better than them.

They reportedly came to their decision to be dissatisfied together during a meeting behind closed doors to discuss the irregularities that were reported on election day.

This development was contrary to a number of statements made by the parties in interviews with The Citizen this afternoon.

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