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IEC: No indication of early elections

It will be up to President Cyril Ramaphosa to determine the date for the country’s sixth democratic elections.

FILE: IEC chairperson Glen Mashinini. Picture: Christa Eybers/EWN.

CAPE TOWN - Independent Electoral Commission (IEC) chairperson Glen Mashinini says the possibility of early elections was not raised when the commission met with President Cyril Ramaphosa in May.

It will be up to Ramaphosa to determine the date for the country’s sixth democratic elections.

The IEC on Tuesday briefed the National Council of Provinces' Select Committee on Social Services on its readiness for the national and provincial polls, which are set to take place between 8 May and 7 August 2019.

Mashinini says their meeting with President Ramaphosa was “very cordial” and focused on the commission’s plans and timeframes.

“At this stage and during our engagement, there was no indication of any intent to have an election other than the constitutional date we are working towards in terms of our plans.”

Mashinini says he does not see any significant threats to the IEC’s elections preparations.

“At this stage, I don’t think there are any major risks that one would raise regarding the preparations of the elections. What we’ve pointed out are the mechanisms and measures that we are putting in place as a routine to mitigate all the operational risks regarding such a major operation.”

Mashinini says the IEC is alert to the possibility of cyber-attacks on its systems.

He says South Africa does not use electronic voting and counting is manual, which minimises the risk of the outcome being influenced.

(Edited by Zamangwane Shange)