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Voting irregularities meant to suppress support base, claim some smaller parties

Leaders of the small political parties who intend to contest the legitimacy of this year’s provincial and national elections said they would lodge their legal case against the Independent Electoral Commission (IEC) on Friday morning.

Alexandra residents line up to cast their vote on 8 May 2019. Picture: EWN

JOHANNESBURG – Leaders of the small political parties who intend to contest the legitimacy of this year’s provincial and national elections said they would lodge their legal case against the Independent Electoral Commission (IEC) on Friday morning.

The parties, which include the Congress of the People (Cope), Black First Land First (BLF), the Land Party and the Socialist Revolutionary Workers Party, said that alleged irregularities encountered during voting are meant to suppress their support base.

The IEC has launched an investigation into allegations of voter fraud after revelations emerged that some people could have cast ballots more than once due to the ink marker system not being effective.

If the parties proceed with their intended action against the IEC, they will appear before the Electoral Court which meets only when cases are brought before it.

WATCH: IEC does not have proper systems to run elections - BLF

The court has the power to review the procedural fairness of the IEC’s decisions.

The parties announced the decision to dispute the credibility of the elections on Thursday, soon after the halfway mark in the vote counting process was passed.

Leader of the African Transformation Movement (ATM) Mzwanele Manyi said the IEC has been deaf to their pleas.

“The parties that are here are not convinced that the trajectory that we’re on, it’s a trajectory that’s going to deliver a free and fair election.

“And we’re saying there are quite a number of issues that have been raised by all of that are here. All these issues have, indeed, been put to the attention of the IEC. For us, it’s a crucial issue.”

On Thursday, the IEC moved to protect the integrity of the election, pleading for patience from the public and political parties while the commission looks into all allegations of irregularities.

(Edited by Leeto M Khoza)

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