IEC to announce whether COVID conditions conducive to hold fair elections

The president announced that the local government elections will be held in October despite strong opposition from some political parties who have warned that the pandemic will make it difficult for such to take place.

FILE: IEC chief electoral officer Sy Mamabulo addresses those gathered at the IEC ROC for the election results. Picture: Abigail Javier/Eyewitness News

JOHANNESBURG - The Independent Electoral Commission (IEC) is expected to make what it has described as an important announcement on Thursday regarding the process to review whether current conditions are conducive or not to hold free and fair elections later this year.

The president announced that the local government elections will be held in October despite strong opposition from some political parties who have warned that the pandemic will make it difficult for such to take place.

With the IEC having held a number of by-elections to date, which have so far been a test of the electoral system during the COVID-19 pandemic, it appears a decision on whether the agency can confidently proceed with its plans for the October polls has been made.

On Wednesday, elections were held at 40 wards across seven provinces.

Political parties were also seen campaigning freely despite the COVID-19 restrictions in place.

IEC CEO Sy Mamabolo said they had noted the complaints raised by the electorate about COVID-19 measures at voting stations.

“The party agents are playing their role accordingly; our staff are cooperating well with the voters as well as with the security personnel who are deployed at the various voting stations.”

The briefing on the decision regarding the October polls will be held on Thursday afternoon.

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