SADC electoral mission gives Elections 2024 seal of approval

SADC electoral mission gives Elections 2024 seal of approval

SADC electoral mission gives Elections 2024 seal of approval

The Southern African Development Community Electoral Observation Mission (SEOM) has described the pre-election and voting phases of South Africa’s National and Provincial Elections as having being held in an “orderly, peaceful and free atmosphere”.
South Africa’s elections were held by the Electoral Commission (IEC) on Wednesday, 29 May.
In a preliminary statement, Former Zambian Vice President and SEOM Head, Enock Kavindele, said some 84 observers were deployed to all nine provinces and they engaged with stakeholders from all parts of society on the elections.
“The mission observed that the country was calm and peaceful in the pre-election, election-day, and the immediate post-election period. I must emphasise that this was a very conducive environment for the elections, where only a few isolated incidences of political violence were reported.
“It was the concern of stakeholders that the incidences prevented special voting and final election campaign events in the areas. Apart from these isolated incidences, our observers deployed across the country witnessed numerous peaceful, well planned, and highly attended political rallies,” he said.
He noted that the South African Police Service (SAPS) “maintained its vigilance and preserved peace” during the election period with “more resources to high-risk areas to address eventualities”.
Best practice and recommendations
The mission praised the IEC for its best practices on the following:
Online voter registration for citizens, including in the diaspora, which encouraged young and first-time voters to register;
With the support of the Department of International Relations and Co-operation, for facilitating voting by South African residents abroad;
Implementation of special voting, particularly to include voters who for reasons of infirmity or other challenges, would not have been able to cast their votes at the polling stations;
Swift responsiveness to false, misleading information, particularly online/social media; and
Openness to the public and close liaison with political parties and independent candidates.
Kavindele said that while the mission to the South African elections has not expired yet, it has made some recommendations.
These include:
Government and the National Assembly are urged to ensure that substantive electoral law reforms are debated and adopted early in the next electoral cycle in order to avoid the introduction of electoral reforms close to the election periods
The IEC is urged to assess options on how best to ensure that the Voter Management Devices do not present challenges encountered on Election Day. The IEC could consider a manual voter’s roll to be displayed at polling stations so that voters can verify where they are registered
The IEC is encouraged to review its civic and voter education programmes, learning from the challenges experienced in 2024, and design new programmes that comprehensively address the new electoral processes.
The SAPS should consider recruiting adequate police officers to be permanently stationed all polling stations.
“In conclusion, the SEOM observed that the pre-election and voting phases of the 2024 National and Provincial Assembly Elections were professionally organised, and conducted in an orderly, peaceful and free atmosphere, which enabled the voters to express their democratic will and those who sought office to campaign freely.
“The Mission commends the people of South Africa for the political maturity, spirit of tolerance and calm that generally prevailed during this electoral period. In the event of any electoral disputes, the Mission appeals to all contestants to channel their concerns through established legal procedures and processes,” Kavindele said. – SAnews.gov.za
 

NeoB
Sat, 06/01/2024 – 13:29

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